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The Ukrainian crisis has contributed to soaring prices of energy and high cost of transport in Africa, which has negatively impacted economic sectors such as agriculture and tourism.
On Friday, the African Union (AU) informed that its Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure and Energy (STC-TTIIE) has approved urgent measures to tackle the impacts of the Ukraine crisis on the continent.
The AU Committee, in its second extraordinary session from June 14 to 16, has made "crucial decisions" regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The meeting, attended by the AU countries, regional economic communities, and pan-African institutions is dubbed crucial to effectively respond to the economic shocks that Africa faces due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.
AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Amani Abou-Zeid, told the virtual meeting that the current situation is "a double crisis" as it came at a time when African economies strive to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ukrainian crisis has contributed to soaring prices of energy and high cost of transport in Africa, which has negatively impacted agriculture, industry, trade, tourism, and various other socio-economic sectors, she said, adding that the crisis has posed pressures on the public budgets of African countries.
Years of drought and conflict have left people in East Africa facing a hunger crisis. Now, surging food, water and fuel prices in Somalia, Ethiopia and other East African countries are making it even more difficult for people to get the food they need.
The AU infrastructure and energy commissioner emphasizes the need to rapidly adapt to the existing situations and devise innovative ways to seize possible opportunities that may arise.
"Africa can step in as an alternative source energy market through its number of projects under the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa and other similar initiatives like the African Single Electricity Market that can be expedited to first address Africa's energy needs and export to other regions," Abou-Zeid said.
Lesotho's Transport Minister Tsoeu Mokeretla said the ongoing Ukrainian conflict is already taking its toll on Africa. He emphasized the urgent need for Africa to collectively find ways of mitigating the impacts on the energy and infrastructure sectors thereby addressing the knock-on effects on other sectors.
The AU said the two-day session "came to a close after making crucial decisions regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis." It, however, did not outline the decisions.