Rising prices, exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis, have fueled fears of societal unrest in eastern DR Congo. Geographic isolation and decades of warfare have hampered the region’s economy. It’s been the same disappointment lately when Congolese go to the pump.
The crisis in Ukraine has resulted in inexorably rising fuel prices in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fears and fury are being stoked by the fighting, particularly among the people of the DRC’s northeastern region. Although the authorities are there, Alimasi Agbarah, a cab driver, claims that prices are rising and that the authorities are not participating in regulating them. Why not ask those who are inflating prices to drop them, or maybe cease speculating altogether? “
The rising costs have an impact not just on fuel, but also on the markets, where commodities have become prohibitively expensive. A 50-kilogram bag of sugar, which used to cost roughly 43 cents, now costs $60. The same can be said for cooking oil, rice, and maize, which are now worth twice as much as they were a few weeks ago.
One of the reasons behind this inflation is the fact that the DRC is significantly reliant on imports. According to economist Paulin Bishakabalya, this dependence could jeopardize the country’s food security. “If we don’t find a way to stop what’s happening in Ukraine at the international level, it means we’ll have supply problems; it’s clear that prices will continue to rise here, and I believe the next two months will be decisive for our populations here in the east of the DRC; we’ll feel the shock of this war between Ukraine and Russia,” the Congo Federation of Businesses’ economics analyst predicts.
The governor of the Bukavu province has advised that market prices be reduced to relieve household pressure. Economic operators, on the other hand, are having a hard time implementing the new rules, and they have already lost a lot of money because of inflation.