African countries face a high risk of food shortage because of the war in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are major global suppliers of agricultural commodities such as maize, wheat, oils, and fertilisers.
Mr Amos Lugoloobi, Uganda’s minister for Finance, appealed to African countries to increase their food production to stop dependence on imports. He was spoke on Monday at a conference for African finance ministers to review Ukrainian crisis in Dakar, Senegal.
Mr Lugoloobi said Uganda produces enough food for its use and sells the surplus to its neighbours. He said the country had started producing sunflower oil to counter rising prices and be self-sufficient.
Mr Mario Caetano Joao, Angola’s minister for Economy and Planning, told the conference that his country was changing its economy. He said Angola was prioritising local production and diversifying from focus on oil production to heavy investments in agri-business and fisheries.
“Ten years ago, Angola’s oil dependence was 43 percent and now oil dependency is only 20 percent,” the minister said. “[This shows] that the investments are bearing fruit and the country’s economy has stabilised despite the crisis.”
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said the Ukrainian crisis would constrain the African continent’s recovery. Ms Eunice Kamwendo, the commission’s director for southern Africa, said African continent faces a high risk of food insecurity.
“The two countries [Russia and Ukraine], combined, provide 30 percent of the world’s wheat and barley needs,” she said. “[They] supply nearly one-fifth of maize globally, and account for over half of the global market share in sunflower oil, among other commodities.”
(Reporting with Xinhua)