The African Union’s chairman warned EU leaders on Tuesday that their decision to bar Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system risks jeopardising food supplies to the continent.
The Ukrainian conflict and Russia’s blockade of its neighbour’s ports, combined with African conflicts and climate change, have already sent global cereal prices skyrocketing and exacerbated the African food crises.
On Tuesday, Senegalese President and African Union leader Macky Sall warned Europe that its banking sanctions, which are part of a slew of EU sanctions aimed at forcing Russia to abandon its invasion, aren’t working.
Speaking to EU leaders via videoconference in Brussels, Sall acknowledged that Russia’s blockade of Odessa had harmed Ukrainian food exports and backed UN-led efforts to open the port.
“I would also like to tell you that our countries are very concerned about the collateral effects of the disruption caused by the blocking of the SWIFT payment system”, Sall added.
“When the SWIFT system is disrupted, it means that even if the products exist, the payment becomes complicated, if not impossible.
I would like to insist that this issue be examined as soon as possible by our competent ministers in order to find appropriate solutions”, he said.
On Monday, EU leaders agreed to add Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, to the growing list of lenders barred from using the SWIFT network, which facilitates inter-bank payments and is based in Belgium.
Recall that, Consumer price index inflation, commonly referred to as headline inflation, decreased slightly in January to 15.60 per cent.
The drop comes after a jump to 15.63 per cent in December 2021, following an eight-month drop between April and November 2021.
The increase in prices of goods and services as a result of an increase in demand over the festive season, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, explains the change in the downward trend recorded in December.
During a news conference on Tuesday, the Federation’s Statistician-General, Simon Harry, revealed the latest inflation figure.