Exclusion of Russian Banks from SWIFT Hurting Food Supplies to Africa—AU

May 31, 2022
food supplies to Africa

By Adedapo Adesanya

The African Union (AU) has decried that the decision of the European Union (EU) to expel Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system could hurt food supplies to Africa.

The chairman of the AU, Mr Macky Sall, warned EU leaders on Tuesday that the war in Ukraine and Russia’s blockade of its neighbour’s ports, combined with African conflicts and climate change, have already sent world cereal prices surging and exacerbated food crises in Africa.

On Tuesday, Mr Sall, who is the President of Senegal, warned that the banking sanctions, part of a raft of EU sanctions aimed at forcing Russia to abandon its invasion, aren’t helping matters.

Speaking by videoconference to EU leaders in Brussels, Mr Sall acknowledged that Russia’s blockade of Odessa had harmed Ukrainian food exports, and he backed UN-led efforts to free 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 SWIFT payment system,” Mr Sall added.

He continued, “When the SWIFT system is disrupted, it means that even if the products exist, 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, the EU leaders agreed to add Russia’s largest bank Sberbank to the growing list of lenders to be excluded from the Belgium-based SWIFT network, which facilitates inter-bank payments.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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