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On 25th October 2018, Sahle-Work-Zewde was elected Ethiopia's first female president. Her appointment came the week after the Prime Minister's appointment of 10 female ministers, making Ethiopia the 3rd country in Africa, after Rwanda and Seychelles, to achieve gender parity in its cabinet.  Following the appointment, Prime Minister Abiy’s chief of staff, said on Twitter. “In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalizes women as decision-makers in public life.” So just what does this appointment mean for Ethiopia as a country, and in particular for its...

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Africa, Agritech, farmers, food with a story, Kenya, smallholders, social entreprise -

Smallholder farmers make up a whopping 70% of the population in Africa, and the continent is home to half the world’s unused fertile land. Africa therefore has huge potential in its agriculture sector and many consider the continent to be the future breadbasket to the world. However, to date poor infrastructure, limited markets, weak governance, and civil wars have hampered the continent and so its potential has never been realised. With the world’s population set to rise to 9 billion by 2050, there are fears that a global food crisis awaits us. As such, Africa’s agricultural potential is firmly in the spotlight. Organisations committed to...

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We set up Storimarket to offer customers an alternative to anonymous, unsustainable and unethical food. Instead, we wanted to work with producers and farmers who were putting people and the planet before profit. With a European-African team, aware of the African continent’s huge agricultural potential, it was natural we focused on Africa. However, we are also aware that the continent will only benefit if it is realised in an environmentally- and community-friendly way. That’s why we only work with farmers and producers who are doing things in a way that is good for the environment, good for communities and good...

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ethiopia, teff -

If you’ve yet to hear about teff, get ready… This ancient grain from Ethiopia is already well-known amongst health food enthusiasts, but it is about to go mainstream. The Guardian and The Huffington Post have been calling it the next big superfood for a few years. High in fibre, iron, calcium, protein - and gluten free - it's easy to understand why. However, it’s mainly been confined to injera - Ethiopia’s flat bread staple. Until now… Working as a husband and wife team in Ethiopia, Valerie and Alula decided to harness the nutritional value of teff to create a unique...

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Today on International Day of Co-operatives I am reminded of the story my grandmother always told me of how her family’s lives had been transformed by a co-operative. She was born in the East End of Glasgow in 1912 – the 5th youngest in a family of 14 children. When her father became no longer able to work in the mines due to chronic asthma, their future looked bleak. Yet her mother (my great grandmother) was a resourceful woman, and so having saved a large dividend by being a loyal customer at the local co-operative store, she withdrew her money and...

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