Senegal: in Dakar, controversy over a sugar shortage in the middle of Ramadan

Audio 01:19

[Illustrative image]. A coffee distribution to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan in the Medina district of Dakar, April 18, 2021. AFP - CARMEN ABD ALI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Sugar, a staple food in Senegal, especially during the month of Ramadan, has not been found in several places in Dakar for a few days. A shortage that the Senegalese sugar company CSS blames on traders who would hold stocks that they refuse to sell to consumers. An accusation denied by the concerned who point the finger at the Senegalese State. Consumers continue to suffer.


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With our correspondent in Dakar, Birahim Touré


It's hard to find. It's a bit rare to have too. Moussa is a young Senegalese. It offers, as every Ramadan, coffee at the time of the breaking of the fast, in the neighborhoods. This year, he is doing what he can to get sugar. "There are people who have that who say they can't sell everything because they have customers," he explains. If they come, they can't tell them there's no sugar, so you have to take a kilo or two there, and go to another shop to try to get sugar."

« Unfortunately, it is a repetitive tension that comes at every moment of Ramadan. »

The Senegalese sugar company, Senegal's main sugar supplier, accuses traders in the press of being behind the shortage. This is denied by Alla Dieng, the executive director of UNACOIS Yessal, the National Union of Traders and Industrialists of Senegal, who deplores:


Unfortunately, it is a repetitive tension that comes at every moment of Ramadan. But this is due to several factors. The sugar company produces about 135,000tons per year. Senegalese consume 185,000tonnes per year. So, every year, there is a gap of 50,000 to 60,000tons that we have to import!


Regarding the accusations of non-marketed stocks, Alla Dieng replies: "But that, if it is proven, it is the state that must be strong to hunt down these people, the state must crack down!


In an interview with the Senegalese Press Agency, Senegal's director of internal trade tries to reassure consumers: he ensures that sugar is available, despite some dysfunctions in distribution that state services are in the process of settling.

► Read also: Four practical tips to eat less sweet

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