African Union Chair to ask Putin to allow wheat exports from Ukraine

Dianna Games (Africa At Work) reports back from the latest meeting of the UN Economic Commission for Africa on The Money Show.

Image by 1195798 on Pixabay

Senegal's President Macky Sall is to visit Russia and Ukraine "soon" in his capacity as current chairperson of the African Union (AU).

Sall told the recent meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca or ECA) he'd been given a mandate by the AU to raise Africa's concerns with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to ask if ports in Ukraine could be reopened to allow wheat exports.

Image by 1195798 on Pixabay

At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Sall reiterated Africa's position on the conflict in Eastern Europe.

"We do not want to be aligned on this conflict, very clearly, we want peace... We're working for a de-escalation... for dialogue..."

RELATED: Ramaphosa: SA still holds neutral stance on Russia-Ukraine war

Scholz visited Senegal and Niger ahead of meeting President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on the third leg of his African tour.

South African and Senegal were among the African countries to abstain from voting on a UN resolution in early March that called on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.

Senegal did vote in favor of a second resolution demanding Russia stop the war.

RELATED: No, SA's stance on Russia-Ukraine conflict isn't affecting investment: Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa defended government's neutral stance when South Africa's abstention sparked criticism at home.

Ray White interviews Dianna Games, CEO of Africa at Work.

Games says the situation in Ukraine was one of the big topics of the week at the Uneca meeting hosted by Senegal in Dakar.

Of course it is about the inflationary effect on the continent; the shortages of wheat, of fertiliser, of things considered to be basic goods... and the rising price of oil.

Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work

President Macky Sall gave quite a rousing speech... He said he'd been given a mandate by the African Union to visit Vladimir Putin to raise Africa's concerns and to ask whether they could allow wheat to be moved out of ports in Ukraine, which are being blocked by Russia.

Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work

Games says the Russian ambassador did arrive to join a special session on the war.

She was told he'd expressed disappointment that little was said about Russia's role as friend to Africa.

I think we're looking at the same story of neutrality that is being put out from South Africa, perhaps not just quite as partisan...

Dianna Games, CEO - Africa @ Work

Games says Sall also lashed out at global financial institutions, saying ratings agencies are overstating African risk.

Listen to the update on news from the continent on Africa Business Focus:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : African Union Chair to ask Putin to allow wheat exports from Ukraine