According to a report by the BBC, the initiative was made public by President Volodymyr Zelensky's office after he met with his South African and Kenyan colleagues, President Cyril Ramaphosa and President William Ruto, in New York.
Russia's exit from a plan that permitted the transfer of food from Ukraine in July sparked worries about shortages on the continent. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, grain prices have increased globally.
President Zelensky accused Russia of turning everything into a weapon, from food to electricity, on Tuesday at the UN General Assembly. There, he met with the presidents of South Africa and Kenya.
Following the meeting, the Ukrainian president promised to construct a "grain hub" in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa to assist in alleviating food shortages in East Africa, according to Mr. Ruto's statement about the meeting. He did not, however, provide any more information on what this would involve or how the grain would get there.
Since Russia's act of aggression towards Ukraine, Kenya has been one of Africa's most vocal backers of Ukraine. Conversely, South Africa has remained neutral, as it shares a seat with Russia in the BRICS economy bloc. However, President Ramaphosa seems to be on the side of conflict resolution as he oversaw an African peace mission to Russia and Ukraine in June.
According to Mr. Ramaphosa, he spoke with the president of Ukraine about "the way forward on the peace initiative." They also discussed the reinstatement of the grain agreement, which had allowed for the Black Sea export of Ukrainian food.
In order to provide Africa with food, President Zelensky informed President Ramaphosa that Ukraine was looking for alternate ways. Despite the challenging circumstances, "a number of ships with grain have already successfully passed through these routes," Mr. Zelensky added.
Due to Russia's departure from the grain program, Ukraine cannot use the Black Sea waterway to send goods to Africa and other countries. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, declined to extend the program when it ended in July of this year.
He asserted that certain conditions, including the removal of economic sanctions on his nation, were necessary for Russia to agree to renew the agreement with the West. Six African nations, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea, were given free grain by Russia in July.