President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky has called Africa “a hostage” of Russia’s war during an address to the African Union (AU) on Monday.
President Zelensky’s AU speech comes nearly 10 weeks after he first asked to address the continental body.
Russia’s invasion, and its blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports, have sparked grain and fertilizer shortages and put millions of people at risk of hunger.
The chair of the AU commission said there was an “urgent need for dialogue” to restore global stability.
Western countries have urged Russia to release Ukraine’s vast grain stores.
The Russian blockade has sent food prices soaring in many countries around the world, especially Africa.
“Africa is actually a hostage… of those who unleashed war against our state”, Mr Zelensky said in his speech.
“This war may seem very distant to you and your countries,” he told the AU. “But the food prices that are catastrophically rising have already brought [the war] to the homes of millions of African families.”