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Jebet, Naibet win as African, world athletes partake in maiden Abuja International Marathon.

  • Again, Kenya’s Emmanuel Naibet has won a marathon in Nigeria. His first was in Lagos, and the Abuja International Marathon is his second.
  • Ruth Jebet, a Bahrain runner of Kenyan ancestry, defied previous career challenges to win her first international full marathon.
  • Other elite runners and fun seekers from other African cities and the rest of the world converged to take part in the inaugural and historic Abuja International Marathon; they left with prizes and happiness.

On the 29th of April 2023, Kenya’s Emmanuel Naibet and Bahrain runner Ruth Jebet emerged inaugural winners of the men’s and women’s respective categories of the first international full marathon in the FCT, the historic Abuja International Marathon, backed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, with routes calculated and calibrated by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, AIMS, and approved by World Athletics, with the theme ‘Celebrating the Best of FCT’.

 

Ruth Jebet, winner of the women’s full marathon. Source: www.eurosport.com

 

According to the Race Director, Olukayode Thomas, “About 50 foreign elite runners and 120 local elites registered to participate in the race’’. They were joined by thousands of Nigerian runners that registered to participate in the three categories. The race, a first of its kind in Abuja, was earlier slated for the 17th of December 2022 but was later rescheduled to hold on the 29th of April 2023, with the weather showing kindness to the notable event.  The lovely city of Abuja typically experiences torrential rainfall in April but on the 29th, the city offered the ideal weather making it more convenient for Kenya’s Naibet as well as Jebet, Kenyan-born long-distance runner and steeplechase specialist who competes internationally for the Asian country Bahrain, to win the two categories respectively.

 

Emmanuel Naibet, winner of the men’s full marathon. Source: www.naijanews.com.

 

Naibet won with a time of 2:13:45, a winning time considered the best ever documented in any first edition of Marathon races in Nigeria. This is his second marathon win in Nigeria having also won the 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. “It was a great race for me though a bit challenging with some hilly parts on the routes, but overall, I am happy to win this race and add it to my achievements,” the animated titleholder said in a chat with journalists. Benard Sang finished in second position with a time of 2:13:49 while Ezekiel Koech secured his third place to seal up the win for Kenyans in the men’s category with a time of 2:13:51.

 

Athletes from around the world gather in Abuja for the maiden Abuja International Marathon. Photo by Light Oriye. Source: www.premiumtimes.ng

 

In the women’s category, though her first attempt at the full marathon after dominating in other long-distance races, Ruth Jebet from Bahrain dwarfed other runners to grab the number one spot with a time of 2.36.08, Mercy Kwambai from Kenya finished second with a time of 2:38:17, while Ethiopia’s Dida Negasa held on to the third place with a time of 2:40: 16. An excited Jebet says, “I can never forget the Abuja International Marathon, it is my first full marathon and I won it, I hope to be back next year to defend my title”.

 

Three different races took place in Abuja. Apart from the elite runners who took part in the full marathon that spanned about 42.195 kilometres, students from across the Abuja metropolis as well as fun contenders also keenly competed for prizes in the 5-kilometre and 10-kilometre races. Thomas, the race director, pointed out that one of the big ideas behind the racing event is the establishment of an elite athletes’ development program to groom exceptional local athletes. “What makes the race unique is that it is the first race that will give local athletes recognition not just in terms of appearance fee or bonuses, but we are trying to set up elite athletes development program because we believe that Nigerians have what it takes to do what the Kenyans and Ethiopians are doing,” he said. All finishers of the Abuja International Marathon got medals and certificates signed by the FCT Minister of State.

 

Cross section of runners at the Abuja International Marathon. Source: www.gazettengr.com

 

Also, the Managing Director of Abuja International Marathon, Mrs.  Zsuzsanna Ogunmiloyo mentioned the available incentives for young participants. She said “We also want to encourage the culture of running because the youths have to be encouraged. Sports bring the community together. It is something we want embedded in the youths to know that hard work and determination count.”

 

Activities that led to the Saturday Marathon began on Friday with an expo at The Pavillion, beside the International Conference Centre, opposite Radio House, Abuja. According to Race Director, Olukayode Thomas, the Marathon Expo, with the theme ‘Showcasing the best of FCT,’ prepped the participants for the event. There was refreshment, entertainment from the FCT Arts and Culture Department, and prizes for participants. Visitors were also treated to a city-wide tour. “For those interested in FCT landmarks and tourist attraction centres, officials of the FCT Tourism Department will be on ground to take them around the FCT with tour guides that will answer their questions.”

 

Route Calibration by Norrie Williamson of the World Athletics/AIMS A Grade South Africa, together with his team. Source: www.abujainternationalmarathon.com

 

Thomas highlighted the gains of the Abuja Marathon pointing out that they outweigh the few road closures and other inconveniences that came with the event. He said, just before the event, that: “We need to start telling our stories with activities like Abuja International Marathon. Abuja is a beautiful city, no doubt, but how many times have we showcased the city to the world? This is probably the first time that Abuja will be beamed to the world for four hours. This race will show the best part of Abuja and its landmarks to the world for hours so let us all work with the FCTA to make the epoch event a huge success.’’

 

A week-long Marathon Expo preceded the race with numerous lead-up activities, including the unveiling of the Marathon Logo, the High School that won in the production of the theme song for the Abuja International Marathon, and the presentation of race ambassadors. The event attracted stakeholders in the industry including fun runners, FCTA officials, sponsors, and elite runners abroad and at home. Abuja International Marathon seeks to be the first race in the world to win the prestigious World Athletics Label after its first edition. The majority of elite runners officially invited for the race are Gold Label Runners.

 

Participants at the maiden Abuja International Marathon. Source: www.gazettengr.com

 

Abuja, a stunning city with an excellent network of roads, while playing host to the international marathon, did a good job showcasing her beauty to the world. Another big idea behind the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) is to make the FCT more beautiful and tourist-friendly, even as it presents new and thrilling experiences to both fun and elite runners, in and outside Nigeria.  Abuja International Marathon (AIM) aims to become a qualifier for the Olympics Games, World Athletics Championships, and the Abbott World Marathon Majors (Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago Tokyo and New York City), within three years. The National Hospital Abuja and other prominent hospitals partnered as reference centers for the race. African News media have kept up with updates before, during, and after the event. It would seem like Kenyans are built for races seeing that they sweep key prizes anywhere races are organized in the continent, and indeed around the word. What do you think? Share with us in the comment section.

 

 

Africa’s biggest food exhibition attracts stakeholders from over 30 countries.

  • From African delicacies to intercontinental dishes, the Continent of Africa hardly runs out of food options.
  • A leading food exhibition company has gone ahead to expand the brand.
  • This year, an unprecedented number of delegates is expected at the Food & Beverage West Africa exhibition.

 

The Food & Beverage West Africa, a leading exhibition event devoted to the food and beverage industry and considered the largest food and drink trade exhibition in the continent, has concluded plans to expand into a new location at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, in June with exhibitors from more than 30 countries already confirmed.

 

The event which gives attendees the golden opportunity to showcase their new drink and food products as they develop or increase business connections across the catering, grocery, and general food and beverage industry not just in Nigeria but across the world, has been in high demand, prompting the event organizers to work on adding a fourth exhibition hall to the event.

 

The display is scheduled to run from June 13th to 15th and will attract exhibitors from over 30 countries. Ten country stands will feature for the first time; the stands will have foods, drinks, equipment and services from Russia, India, Dubai, and others, also, the United Nation’s International Trade Centre organization will be sending a delegation of West African producers from countries like Liberia and Gambia. A delegation is also expected from Indonesia.

The Food & Beverage West Africa exhibition is put together by BtoB Events, and the expansion the Food & Beverage event has made the company Africa’s largest trade event organizer. In a statement, the Food & Beverage West Africa stated that the show has the potential to practically double its floor area size since they held the event last year during which they sold out the two present exhibition halls. The stretching of the venue last year suggests that a significant expansion is imminent this year, “…a third hall has opened, and now a fourth semi-permanent marquee-type hall is being constructed,’’ the statement read.

 

Jamie Hill the Managing Director of BtoB Events, said “I am delighted to see demand growing for more exhibition space. The show’s expansion reflects the confidence in Nigeria’s economic landscape – people are ready for Nigeria to do business and the Food & Beverage exhibition is now at a truly international scale. We anticipate there will be more than 5,000 visitors representing food retailing, production and distribution, as well as the hospitality sector, who will be keen to see the latest developments and business opportunities from more than 300 exhibitors.”

                

The Restaurant & Food Service Proprietors Association of Nigeria, REFSPAN, is one of the partners for this event. One of the spokespersons for the association said: “Food & Beverage West Africa gives REFSPAN members a bouquet of opportunities to meet with key players in major parts of the world that are beneficial to the dynamism and the growth REFSPAN desire, in order to promote more and expand the QSR [quick-service restaurant] business in Nigeria.”

 

Companies and food brands interested in owning stands at the exhibition event are expected to contact the exhibition Manager since an additional exhibition space allows the planners to take more bookings.

 

 

 

Kenya leads world tea production, exportation.

  • Because tea is in high demand globally, efforts are being made by primary growers of the product to double up on production.
  • Africa is at the fore front of tea production and export globally.
  • Kenya, though not necessarily a major consumer, has sustained its position as a leading grower of different types of tea in the world.
  • Other than water, tea follows as a highly consumed beverage; next to China and India, Kenya is big on the global tea production stage.

 

Next to water, tea is the world’s most consumed drink; this accounts for its high demand across the world, and Kenya has stood tall as the only African country to be listed in the top ten tea manufacturing countries worldwide, and the biggest global exporter of black tea particularly.

                

Tea has remained a major cash crop grown in Kenya and has been a leading source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. Regarding cultivation of the leaves, Kenya produced over 400 thousand tons of tea in 2022 thanks to the estimated 500,000 small-scale Kenyan farmers that grow tea across the country on approximately 236,000 hectares of land. The country’s regions that are famous for tea distribution include the Nyambene Hills, Kericho region, and Nandi. Many teas are produced in Asia and being the birthplace of the product, it is understandable that China sits on the very top of the ladder as the leader of the industry, in terms of production and even consumption. However, the input, innovation, and significant contribution of this younger participant in the industry, Kenya, has quickly earned it a spot as the largest exporter of black tea in the world.

                 

Although Kenya is in Africa, its location close to the equator positions it for sufficient sunlight and ideal conditions to grow the plants. Other environmental factors, including high elevation in the mountains and an excessively rich volcanic soil, have made it favorable for the plants to thrive. This has subsequently enabled tea farmers in Kenya to grow an immense amount of the product and harvest some of the best teas the world has reckoned with. Kenya produces a lot of black tea and several other types of teas including green tea, yellow tea, and white tea grown on request by key tea producers, but one unique tea native to the country is the Kenyan Purple Tea. Purple leaf tea was developed in Kenya about 25 years ago. It is called the purple leaf tea because of its signature purple and healthy-looking leaves with high levels of antioxidants. It is believed to contain even more age-defying antioxidants than the green tea with potentials to curb cancer and other ailments.

                   

This unique-tasting tea carries quite a smooth tang; rather than having a grassy taste, it has more of melon and honey flavors. Many also love and prefer the purple tea because it is low on caffeine, so it works well for a quick afternoon shot of antioxidant.  Tea lovers have found that adding some lemon juice to purple tea changes its color to peach or even gold. China produces about 2,400,000 tons of tea yearly, this puts the country on the number one spot among biggest producers, exporters, and, to some extent, consumers of tea in the world. It exports 40% of the total tea in world. India is popular for being the second highest tea producing country in the world accounting for about 1,250,000 tons annually.

                     

Kenya got acquainted with tea in 1903, it became a profit-oriented venture in 1924 when Malcom Bell stepped in for the company Brooke Bond, and it has been a key stapple in the African country ever since. The annual tea production in Kenya exceeds 500,000 tons, this makes it the third biggest producers globally; and number one producer of black tea globally. In Mombasa, a coastal city in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean, tea is sold through automated public auction for an international community. In October 2011, tea was averagely actioned at $3.22 per kilogram.

Africa’s oldest restaurant validates continent’s timeless cuisine.

  • The oldest restaurant in Africa, Café El M’Rabet, maintains the spirit of its founders.
  • Its staying power has also demonstrated the longevity of African staples.
  • Other than the classic meals, it has served as a nostalgic spot for relaxation.

In 1628, minister Ali Thabit, in Tunisia, put together what is now considered the oldest restaurant in Africa, and one of the oldest in the world – Café El M’Rabet, in Tunis. The classic restaurant is cited steps away from the Zaytuna Mosque, or popularly called the Zitouna Mosque by many who believe the restaurant itself was founded as a part of the Mosque.

 

Regular features of the restaurant include live music usually served in the evenings – a tradition that has continued up till today. The beautiful space also provides an outdoor beer barn.

                     

The historic Jemâa Ezzitouna marketplace enjoys a pleasant viewpoint from the famous and ever bustling El M’Rabet restaurant giving it a majestic and relaxing feel. Also, the time-tested restaurant serves pies and roasts, inspired by the old-style British tavern foods.  It has promptly responded to times and seasons, but it is yet to lose its ancient flavor and appeal. Young and old, natives and tourists, from time to time, visit this classic food spot in North Africa. Not only has it validated the time-tested cuisines of Africa, but it has also proven to be a favorite tourist destination, and a reliable spot for hospitality.

 

Not only is it one of the oldest, but it has also registered its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Africa particularly, and in the world generally, paying attention to different languages as many clients visit the spot from various parts of the world, hence commination should not pose a challenge.

                       

Recently, clients who visited the classic restaurant observed that the services are top-notch, pointing out that the only possible glitch is the wait – a lot of people from different parts of the world visit the restaurant, hence it welcomes tons of food and fun lovers daily. Iraqi Anni-Voo Duhok said after her recent visit to the restaurant that “I was very empty during the lunchtime so was lucky to have excellent attentive service. As I don’t know French, the manager kindly explained to me with English and Arabic the dishes, the vegetables with lamb that I ordered were delicious and the Arabic coffee at the end was amazing. Plus, they also had a nice selection of starters. Veryt central location and there is also livelier coffeeshop downstairs.” The foods, the consistency of service, as well as the retention of ancient values, styles and cuisines, have singled out Café El M’Rabet from the pack.

BEER BREWING THRIVES IN CONGO DESPITE COUNTRY’S CHALLENGES.

 

 

Brasimba, which has been controlled by France’s Castel Group since 1995, has defied the Democratic Republic of Congo’s two deadly Ebola outbreaks and waves of fighting linked to rebel militias in the nearby forests, as the Beni plant has become a source of fizz and hope to the region.

 

After an initial investment of 125 million euros, which is about 134 million dollars, beer production at the factory, sited in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Beni, grew over three times the original output with 600,000 hectolitres produced between 2013 and 2021.

 

Brasimba sales manager, Thomas Wybauw, in a recent interview stated that many people accept the project as theirs and see it as an extremely positive drive attracting bulky investments from international groups.

 

The company expanded production in Beni last year with a second filling line along with warehouse expansion, this should help Brasimba manage supply disturbances as the province deals with challenges following its recovery from Ebola outbreaks, as well as the heat from insurgents.

 

In 2019, Congo exported six tonnes of beer and the country can only build on that momentum. Non-alcoholic beverages like water, fruit or vegetable juices, malt, and milk also play their part in this mix.

 

Despite these challenges, and with over nine types of beer produced at the local plant, there is no beer shortage in Beni’s bars as it has become a source of pride for natives to drink beer made in their own country.

 

Brasimba’s brewery was founded in 1925 and its Beni factory employs around 130 people and an additional 180 temporary workers, providing the much-needed income especially for the country’s workforce and for the company.

 

At the factory, workers in high visibility vests load crates onto trucks criss-crossing different destinations, jerking gradually through rebel barriers sometimes.

 

NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC LAUNCHES SERIES 1, 2, AND 3 CP PROGRAM TO RAISE N20 BILLION

The Nigerian Breweries Plc has kick started a new phase of its N100 billion commercial paper programme, making the brewery company  raise N20 billion from investors.

 

A report signed by the Nigerian Breweries Secretary, Uaboi Agbebaku, revealed that the commercial papers were launched on Wednesday, 11st January, 2023.

 

According to the report “Nigerian Breweries Plc is pleased to inform The Exchange Limited and the investing public of the issuance of its Commercial program with the launch of Series 1, 2, and 3 of the program under its N100 billion CP program which opens on 11th January, 2023”.

 

The capital raise will come in series 1, 2, and 3 which will last consecutively for 91 days, 120 days, and 154 days respectively, aimed at raising N20 billion to aid its short-term funding needs 

 

Basically, the commercial papers provide corporations an opportunity to borrow from investors to meet short-term financial responsibilities at a fixed interest rate.

 

The report also stated that “CP Programme continues to provide the opportunity for non-equity investors to invest in the Company, support the Company’s cost management initiatives and serve as an additional source of funding for the Company”.

 

The Nigerian Breweries is a member of the HEINEKEN Group, Nigeria’s pioneer and largest brewing company, incorporated as “Nigerian Brewery Limited” in 1946.

 

The Brewing company is the recipient of several awards and recognition in other areas of its operations such as product quality, marketing excellence, productivity and innovation.

 

It has a rich portfolio of twenty high-quality brands like Desperados, Maltina, Life, Amstel Malta, Gulder, Fayrouz and Legend.

ETHIOPIAN COMPANY WINS THE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE CHOICE AWARD.

A private company in Ethiopia named mainly engaged in coffee export and real estate development has won the best award for the “Ernesto Llly International coffee award 2022”.

 

The prize celebrates the finest coffee Arabica variety sourced from all over the world. 

 

Every year external jurists made up of coffee enthusiasts, experts and international chefs choose the finest coffee lot from the competing countries. This is an independent jury of 9 experts, they examine the best batches of the 2021-2022 production through a blind tasting of the 9 countries that made it to the finals.

 

Among the 9 countries that made it to the finals are; Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua and Rwanda. 

 

The nine finalists were competing in the “best of the best” and “coffee lover’s choice” categories.

 

The award of “best of the best ” was presented to Ethiopia Tracon Trading through its representative Elias Omer Ali from the hands of Andrea Llly, chairman of Llly Caffe. Meanwhile, the “coffee lovers’ choice” award was given to the Costa Ricans.

 

 

The event was held on the 17th of November at Palazzo Colonna in Rome. It is in its 7th year now.