From Nigeria to Uganda down to Zimbabwe, petrol prices are soaring. This is a major problem that has been exacerbated by a number of factors, including the increasing scarcity of the commodity.
In Africa’s most populous country Nigeria, petrol has been scarce for nearly one month. An earlier report by Business Insider Africa explained that the fuel scarcity in Nigeria began after the country inadvertently imported adulterated fuel. Efforts by the West African country’s state-owned energy company (the NNPC) to clean up the contaminated product from the market inevitably resulted in a shortage. Since then, marketers have been engaging in hoarding and profiteering.
Interestingly, despite the recent price surge in Nigeria, the country is not among those with the highest price per litre in Africa. And that’s because the Nigerian Government heavily subsidises the commodity.
Moving on, the rising cost of petrol in Sub Saharan Africa has also be attributed to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. And there is palpable fear that as the conflict continues to escalate, it could have even more negative impact on energy costs in Africa.
According to DW, fears of possible cuts to Russian crude is yet another factor that has influenced rising energy costs around the world. As you may well know, Russia is one of the world’s top producers of crude. If the US or EU countries decide to extend Russia’s mounting economic sanctions by banning its oil, this would definitely portend catastrophe to the global energy industry.
Already, global oil prices has surpassed the $100 per barrel mark which was last recorded in 2014. The commodity is currently trading at $102.6 per barrel, according to benchmark price Brent Crude.
Before we proceed to the list of 10 African countries with the highest petrol prices, it’s important to note that another factor responsible for rising energy cost in Africa is the fact that virtually all of Africa’s leading oil producing countries have failed at developing capacity to be able to refine the product locally.
That said, below are the 10 African countries with the highest petrol prices. This list is courtesy of data made available by Global Petrol Prices.
- Zimbabwe: This Southern African country has the highest petrol cost in Africa. A litre of petrol costs as much as $2.153. Earlier this month, the country’s Energy and Power Development Minister, Zhemu Soda, explained that frequent petrol price hikes was due to developments in the international oil industry. Zimbabwe is not an oil producer, although there were conflicting reports about crude oil discovery in Northern Zimbabwe back in 2018.
- Seychelles: This island country has the second most expensive fuel price in Africa. According to the information we are working with, a litre of petrol in this country is sold for $1.541. The country does not currently produce any oil and gas, although some international oil companies are busy prospecting potential oil deposits off its many coasts.
- Malawi: In Malawi, it costs $1.426 to buy a litre of petrol. The country is said to have a great prospect of discovery crude oil reserves in Lake Malawi.
- South Africa: Here, a litre of petrol costs $1.413. In 2019, Total Energies announced that it had made a major discovery of gas condensates in one of its exploration fields in South Africa. Experts said this could significantly improve the country’s fortunes.
- Uganda: In this East African country, a litre of petrol costs $1.389. The high cost of petrol in Uganda is despite the fact that the country actually produces oil. Checks by Business Insider Africa show that the country’s crude oil reserves, as of 2021, stood at 2.5 billion barrels.
- Mauritius: This country has the sixth most expensive petrol price in Africa at $1.381 per litre. Mauritius currently does not produce oil, although experts say there are prospects.
- Burundi: In this East African country, a litre of petrol costs $1.340. According to the United Nations’ Environmental Programme, this country currently does not have any local sources of crude oil or natural gas.
- Senegal: In this Francophone West African country, it costs $1.299 to buy a litre of petrol. The country discovered some crude oil deposits between 2014 and 2017, although full-scale exploration has been pushed back till 2023.
- Lesotho: In this country, it costs $1.231 to buy a litre of petrol. The country does not have any confirmed oil deposits.
- Rwanda: Here, a litre of petrol costs $1.230. Again, this East African country does not produce crude oil.