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Algerian Minister Condemned over “Women Who Can’t Prepare Couscous” Comment

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Algeria’s Minister for Culture and the Arts, Malika Bendouda, has drawn irk across the North African country after she suggested that all women should have the skills to prepare couscous, a traditional dish in the country and a staple in the Maghreb region.

Alegria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania had presented a joint bid for the dish to be listed on the UNESCO list of world’s intangible cultural heritage. On Wednesday, the UN agency granted the country’s bid.

Speaking at an event celebrating UNESCO’s decision to list the traditional dish as a heritage of humanity, Bendouda had said; “I particularly greet the women, from Numidia, who prepare this dish which is couscous. I salute the girls and women who continue to roll couscous and prepare this dish, this is an important question. I particularly salute the women, especially the new generation who continue to roll couscous.”

She added, “… Couscous is not just a dish. It’s a long story, that of the peoples of the region and their attachment to wheat. Our region was throughout history the main exporter of wheat to the Roman Empire. The women had the ingenuity to transform the wheat, to consume it throughout the year.”

And then concluded, “…Women who are unable to prepare couscous are a threat to our families.”

One angry internet user said Bendouda’s comments are “shameful” and “unacceptable.”

Another female user responded: “I admit here I am not able to prepare couscous. Is that so serious”, and questioned the skills of the minister herself in preparing the famous dish.

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Uganda to Export 90,000 Tonnes of Sugar to Kenya

Kenya had earlier barred the importation of sugar from Uganda, arguing that most of Uganda’s sugar did not originate from the country to benefit from regional trade protocols.

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Kenya has joined the list of East African Community (EAC) Member State who have opened their markets to Ugandan sugar after protracted negotiations by both countries.

Kenya had earlier banned the importation of sugar from Uganda, arguing that most of Uganda’s sugar did not originate from the country to benefit from regional trade protocols.

Kenya argues that Uganda imports sugar from outside East Africa and re-bags for export as though it originates from the country.

According to a State House statement, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda early this month contacted the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, to discuss the sugar ban.

Both East African leaders saddled their officials with the responsibility of working out solutions to end the embargo. Kenya agreed to allow up to 90,000 tonnes of Ugandan sugar to access its market duty free annually.

Both countries agreed that out of the 90,000 tonnes, 20,000 would access the Kenyan market this month as the rest waits for clearance following a proper verification process.

On December 22, Uganda’s lead negotiator Patrick Ocailap, said the country was ready to receive Kenyan officials to verify which factories in Uganda make sugar and to also confirm the country’s capacity to export quality sugar.

While briefing Museveni on the outcomes of the talks, Ocailap said both sides agreed that any sugar imported through Uganda from outside The East African Community must pay the full taxes at Mombasa.

He noted that the new sugar trade development would further improve the country’s economic growth and also further strengthen bilateral ties.

 After the brief, Museveni expressed appreciation to Kenya, noting that this understanding would strengthen the spirit of East African integration.

In April this year, Uganda reached a similar understanding with Tanzania, where Tanzania agreed to import 20,000 tonnes of Ugandan sugar in the initial phase.

Figures from Uganda’s Trade ministry show that the country has 11 sugar mills producing 510,000 tonnes and the consumption is 360,000 tonnes per annum, with the surplus being enough for export.

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Food Prices In Nigeria Went Up In September – Nigeria Bureau of Statistics

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Food prices in Nigeria increased in September according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

NBS made the assertion in a report titled ‘Selected food price watch data’ for the month of September 2020.

The report said the average price of one dozen of eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 5.245% and month-on-month by 0.37% to N480.76 in September 2020 from N478.97 in August 2020.

It stated that the average price of eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 3.87 % and month-on-month by 0.28 % to N42.90 in September from N42.78 in August.

The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 39.07% and month-on-month by 2.87% to N516.13 in September 2020 from N501.71 in August.

Meanwhile, the average price of 1kg of tomato increased year-on-year by 26.12% and decreased month-on-month by -1.01% to N286.92 in September from N289.86 in August.

Similarly, it added, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 29.11% and decreased month on month by -4.08% to N245.62 in September 2020 from N256.06 in August 2020.

Incidentally, as the 24hour curfew across many states in Nigeria last, after the resent spat of violent attacks in some cities it has impacted on current prices. And cause more increase. Now, a piece of egg now sells for N70 to N100 each.

The prices of other food items have increased and could further spiked if movement restrictions are not relaxed very soon.

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Stop consuming organic apples, black currant from Australia, NAFDAC warns Nigerians

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned Nigerians to stop the consumption of an organic apple and black currant originating from Australia.

Prof. Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, who disclosed this, said the products had been certified harmful for human consumption.

“The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has warned against the consumption of Pure Tassie Organic Apple and Blackcurrant Juice originating from Australia.

“This was due to unacceptable level of patulin (a mycotoxin) which had exceeded the maximum limit in fruit juice,” she said.

Adeyeye pointed out that the level of patulin content in the affected fruit juice can induce liver, spleen, and kidney damage.

She added that the toxic level would affect the immune system and causes nausea, gastrointestinal disturbance, and vomiting.

She said that the name of the is Pure Tassie, an organic apple and blackcurrant juice from Australia.

The D-G implored importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers to immediately stop the importation, distribution, sale, and consumption of the affected fruit juice.

She urged members of the public in possession of the affected fruit juice to submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

She also called on healthcare professionals and consumers to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product to the nearest NAFDAC office through NAFDAC PRASCOR (20543 TOLL-FREE from all networks).

Adeyeye said the agency should be reached through pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng or via the NAFDAC ADR e-Reporting platform available at www.nafdac.gov.ng.

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