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Mujobu Moyo is an IDRC research fellow at the Center for Global Development. Her research focuses on how to manage natural resource windfalls in developing countries. Prior to joining, she worked as an economist at the World Bank in Washington and the International Growth Centre in Tanzania. As Tanzania’s Country Economist with the International Growth Centre (IGC), Mujobu’s role was to promote demand-driven research and bridge the gap between policy makers and researchers. Her work in Tanzania fed into the government’s recently launched 2025 development plan. She has also led numerous large-scale data collection activities over the past 9 years, including long-run tracking panel surveys and surveys conducted electronically on handheld devices. She has been a key player in the analysis and dissemination of results of these surveys.
It is widely believed that oil prices impact food prices in developing countries. Yet evidence on this relationship is scarce. Using maize and petrol price data from east Africa we show that global oil prices do affect food prices, but primarily through transport costs, rather than through biofuel or production cost channels. For inland markets, world oil prices have larger effects on local maize prices than do world maize prices. Furthermore, oil price shocks transmit much more rapidly than maize price shocks, suggesting that policies to assist food insecure households during correlated commodity price spikes should consider transport cost effects.
How and by how much do global crude oil price shocks affect local food prices, particularly in countries with high levels of subsistence food production? Brian Dillon will present his paper “Global Oil Prices and Local Food Prices: Evidence from East Africa”, which tackles that important question, focusing on maize markets in the four major east African economies: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.