Africans ‘Victims’ of the Ukraine War, AU Head Tells Putin


Macky Sall has told the Russian leader the ban on grain and fertilizer is causing a food crisis on the African continent. Russia says the blame lies elsewhere.

The head of the African Union (AU), Macky Sall, has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Africa was “at the mercy” of the war in Ukraine.

Putin on Friday hosted Sall, who is also Senegal’s President and Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the AU Commission, in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

“Our countries, even if they are far from the theatre (of action), are victims on an economic level,” Sall told Putin.

He called for a lifting of the export blockade on grain and fertilizer.

Putin did not mention grain supplies but said Russia was “always on Africa’s side” and was now keen to ramp up cooperation.

How is the food crisis affecting Africa?

More than 44% of wheat consumed in countries on the continent comes from Russia and Ukraine, according to UN figures. Wheat prices have soared around 45% as a result of the supply disruption, according to the African Development Bank.

The UN has warned that 18 million people are facing severe hunger in the Sahel, the part of Africa just below the Sahara Desert where farmers are facing their worst agricultural production in more than a decade.

Another 13 million people face severe hunger in the Horn of Africa region as a result of a persistent drought.