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West African Papers

The West African Papers series explores African socio-economic, political and security dynamics from a regional and multidisciplinary perspective. It seeks to stimulate discussion and gather information to better anticipate the changes that will shape future policies. The series is designed for a wide audience of specialists, development practitioners, decision makers and the informed public. Papers are available in English and/or French, and summaries are available in both languages. Initiated by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) to highlight and promote West African issues, the work presented is prepared by its Secretariat, Members and partners, other OECD departments, related international organisations, associated experts and researchers.

English French

The Cost of High Food Prices in West Africa

West African households were particularly affected by the food price crisis of 2007-08. As these households depend on markets for two-thirds of their food supplies, prices have become a key determinant of access to food. However, food prices are 30-40% higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in the rest of the world at comparable levels of per capita income. These price levels have a negative impact on the purchasing power of households and are a major factor of food and nutrition insecurity. Price monitoring systems need to be updated and strengthened. Increasing productivity, promoting regional trade and supporting food value chain development are three of the policy options available to decision-makers to drive down food prices sustainably.

English French

Keywords: food system, competitiveness, food and nutrition security, regional trade, prices
JEL: F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; O11: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development; Q18: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agricultural Policy; Food Policy; Q11: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agriculture: Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices; Q13: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
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