Russia-Ukraine war hurting Africa; borrowing is now expensive – Akufo-Addo laments to EU

President Akufo-Addo has lamented to the European Union how the Russia-Ukraine war is hurting the economies of African countries in a scale never seen before, leading to increased cost of borrowing as a result of investor “tantrum”.

The President was addressing a cross section of European and world leaders at the 2022 European Union Development Days Conference in Brussels, Belgium, where Akufo-Addo joined calls to end the war as soon as possible.

Just last month, the president expressed concerns over the impact the crises in Ukraine is having on food security in Ghana and on the continent, saying the Ukrainian crisis has compromised the food security of Africa, causing a disruption of commodity imports and shortages in fertilisers for crops.

“Growing concerns of fertiliser shortages in most African countries including Ghana are worrying.

“Ghana’s maize and soya production could be affected and our poultry industry could suffer greater shocks,” he said at this Annual Conference of the Academy of African Business and Development at the University of Professional Studies at Legon in Accra.

In Belgium, Akufo-Addo rallied world leaders to understand the impact the crisis has on the economies of African nations as a whole, citing a report that says 70% of African countries at severe risk; especially with the “tantrum” of investors increasing the cost of borrowing.

“Indeed, the recent United Nations report estimates that, about 70 percent of Africa’s economies are at severe risks of the Russian war in Ukraine. In the midst of this, 18 African economies have experienced credit downgrades even when all African economies are suffering from last year’s pandemic and we in Africa are also facing the risk of the so-called tantrums as investors exist in our markets thereby exacerbating the increasing cost of borrowing.” He said.

“At this moment, the World Bank tells us that the subsequent of the conflict, the number of poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa could rise from 413 million to 463 million this year – an increase of 50 million people.” He added.

The President is expected to leave for Kigali, Rwanda after the EU event in Belgium.