The surge in prices comes in tandem with a spike in the cost of food after Russia sent troops into Ukraine, hitting tens of millions of people already living in precarious conditions, as well as government and aid agency budgets.
Refineries across sub-Saharan Africa combined can process 1.36 million barrels of oil a day (bpd), in theory, but with many out of action, only 30% of that capacity was used last year, according to independent consultancy CITAC.
Refineries in Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal are shut, as are four in South Africa. Africa’s biggest oil producer, Nigeria, pumps over 1.3 million barrels a day, but the two privately owned plants still running there can only process 1% of that.
The African Export-Import Bank and the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization signed a deal in May to create a multi-billion-dollar “energy bank” to boost private investment in the sector but analysts say there a few quick fixes on the horizon.