In Africa, the Situation has Become Volatile

In many countries on the continent the price rise has hit hard, causing protests in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cameroon.

West Africa,

Special Report.

In the hubbub of Treichville market in the south of Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s economic capital, two friends on greying horses wind between the cages of chickens and stacks of vegetables. By their own description — not really poor and not really middle class either — they confirm how difficult it has become to fill their shopping baskets. “Today, with 10,000 CFA (23 USD), you can feed your family for 3 days. A few months ago, that was enough for a week.” As a result, these two mothers leave out certain products. They no longer buy milk or butter, which have gone from 400 CFA (0.91USD) to nearly 1000 CFA (2.29USD). Some families are only eating one meal a day. “I sometimes skip lunch”, says one of them.

Further on, Mady digs her hand into her sack of Asian rice “I have to sell the kilo at 350 CFA (0.80USD) compared to 250 CFA (0.60USD) a couple of months ago” she explains. It’s the same story with oil, another staple for cooking in Africa. “Last year, I would buy a 200 litre barrel for 100,000 CFA (229USD). Today it costs me 146,000 CFA (335USD)” Nearly a 50% price rise impacting directly on the price of a bottle. “Now, the women are only buying 3 litres instead of the usual 5”.

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