Friday, 23 May 2008

Food and fuel inflation: would you work for two days to buy a gallon of petrol?

The impact of food and fuel price inflation in Africa is truly shocking, as this BBC Radio 4 "File on 4" report by Michael Robinson makes clear. Flour from $280 dollars to $800 a tonne in the last 12 months, petrol at $5.50 a gallon (1% of the average annual salary in Ghana). Everyone's talking about the possibility of oil reaching $200 a barrel. But imagine if petrol was already costing you a couple of days wages per gallon. . . Imagine if a loaf of bread was out of your reach and you spent an hour or two earning enough for a couple of slices. It may be down to speculators, and they may get badly burned (here's hoping. . .). But meanwhile, Africans are already paying.

Photo: Kaneshie market, Accra, where the market traders were recorded.

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