The Director of the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies, University of Lagos, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, has said that the problems Africa has grappled with for years have become more prominent since the Russia-Ukraine war.
Falaiye disclosed this on Wednesday, at a conference themed ‘Russia-Ukraine crisis and its impact on Africa’.
He said, “Ordinarily, we will have thought that we had no business with the Russia-Ukraine war, but unfortunately, every little problem in Africa is now blamed on the war, rightly or wrongly. We’ve had a spiral of inflation in Africa, crises of employment, and all sorts of things that people now blame on Russia and Ukraine.
“It is strange that the continent of Africa, as important as it is, and as endowed as it is, will depend on other people to provide basic food for its people. Grain shortage is the order of the day now, and everyone is blaming the Russia-Ukraine war, because, before the war, Ukraine was a major supplier of wheat to Africa, and now that supply route has been blocked, inflation is about 20% in Nigeria.
“It is very convenient to blame the war but these are the problems that Africa has had to grapple with over the years, they have only become more prominent, since the Russia-Ukraine war, because of the poor planning of our leaders and unfortunately, this will stay with us for a long time, because we don’t even know how long the war would last.”
The Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities, North West University, South Africa, Prof. Ndivhoniswani Aaron, noted that Nigeria and South Africa should collaborate to stop dependency on the western world.
He said, “In Africa, South Africa and Nigeria are important, Nigeria has the highest population and South Africa is second from Nigeria in the economy with a low population, so if both can supplement each other, they can change Africa.
“Rather than competing, we need to work together to change the lives of smaller countries in Africa so that we don’t depend on the western world. We want more collaborations, and that’s why as academicians, we want to bring students from South Africa to Nigeria to get experience. If we as academicians can design more exchange programs, Africa will be the best continent.”