Catholic Activists in Africa Decry Economic Crisis, Want Energy Taxes Suspended

Credit: CitizenGo

Catholic activists in Africa are calling on African governments to stop increasing the costs of energy and gasoline, noting that the increase is having critical effects of the people’s living conditions in what they describe as an already tough economic crisis.

In their petition launched on November 11, the activists under their umbrella CitizenGo warn that small businesses in African countries are already facing the danger of closing shop owing to the high energy bills they are slapped with.

“The high prices of energy and gasoline have critical effects on cost-of-living increases in our daily lives... Inflation is hitting families hard, especially wage-earners and the elderly,” the Catholic activists say, and add, “People are getting ridiculously high new energy bills, and many businesses are in danger of closing.”

“The whole world is in crisis. Africa is in crisis. We must take action before it’s too late!” they say.

The CitizenGo members express concern that politicians in various African countries have taken advantage of the global economic crisis and are making money by taxing the already costly fuel.


“We can't expect the government to solve all African problems for us but what we can expect from our politicians is that they stop making money on energy taxes on top of the already sky-high energy prices,” the Catholic activists say.

They add, in their call for African governments to act, “Families are taxed enough. Therefore, we now call for the next, much-needed crisis measure: temporarily suspend all taxes that currently make already ridiculously high energy bills even higher.”

According to the Catholic activists, African governments must plan some form of intervention in the energy market to bring prices down “in the coming months”.

They express concern that bakers, restaurants, and small business owners are just some of those at risk from the severe problems of rising energy prices, which they say is resulting not only from the war in Ukraine but also from long standing policies of governments worldwide.

They decry the rising costs of living in African countries, saying, “Sky-high bills, rising grocery costs, increasing rents, and unreasonable gas costs are all adding up to an impossible situation for many of us.”

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“We are amidst a wildly slippery slope of high energy taxes, inflation, and general impoverishment with dramatic consequences for our future if we don’t say enough! The situation is unsustainable,” the Catholic activists lament.

They call on governments in Africa to stop levying taxes on energy for the duration of this crisis as “a sign of solidarity.”

“From CitizenGO, we will do whatever it takes to protect the citizens and demand that our elected representatives do their jobs without delay – from demanding the immediate suspension of the energy taxes to flooding their offices with phone calls and organizing massive concentrations and deliveries of signatures around the world,” they say.

In the petition launched on November 11, the Catholic activists hope to stop the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people who they say cannot make ends meet due to the combination of high energy taxes and petrol, inflation, and the general increase in the cost of living.

In their call on civilians to push their various governments, the Catholic activists say, “Sign our petition to your president to help businesses and households during this energy crisis by suspending all taxes on energy for now.”


Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.