2ESSAYIn recent events Nigerian oil prices have sky rocketed. It is near the record. This unexpected jump in the market is due to a threat made by a militant group whom in the past has made it very clear that their threats are no joking matter.There have been many theories about why this group has such a strong disliking towards the oil industry and their workers, but one thing’s for sure; they are major suspects in several kidnappings of people who have ties with the oil companies.One of the major players in oil industry, Schell, has already tightened security in many areas and in some cases even advised workers to leave. This may explain the spike in price as well. At this time there is no knowing how long strict security measures will continue.
5Countries/flags continued GambiaSenegalGuinea-Bissau
6Climate Guinean wet tropical This region has a clearly marked dry season (November-March) and a wet season with maxima rainfall in June and September. The rainfall is between 1,000 and 1,250mm. Relative humidity is about 80 per cent in the morning] except in the dry season (which lasts for four months) when the figure drops to 70 per cent
7Government Governments: Nigeria: federal republic Benin: republic under multiparty democratic ruleTogo: republic under transition to multiparty democratic ruleGhana: constitutional democracyLiberia: republicBurkina: parliamentary republicCote D'ivoire: republicSierra Leone:Guinea: republicGambia: republicGuinea-Bissau: republicSenegal: republic under multiparty democratic rule
8Food!A typical meal in West Africa is heavy on starchy foods, light on meat, generous on fat and commonly cooked in one pot. the most telling characteristic of an African dish is heat: chile peppers are used beyond what we would begin to think of as hot. The most notorious peppers, the Scotch Bonnets and the pilli pilli, earn respect from even the most dedicated chile-heads. Equatorial climates all tend to encourage the use of chiles, as these hot foods produce the effect of "gustatory sweating" -- distinguished from other types of bodily perspiration and resulting in an overall cooling effect.
9History During pre-colonialism many slaves were traded Following WWII protest against European Rule sprung out- in 1957 Ghana became first sub-Sahara Africa to achieve independence1958 referendum divided Africa into statesSense independence Africa’s suffered
10History Continued Nigerian Civil War(1967-1970) Two Civil wars in Liberia ( )decade of fighting in Sierra Leone( )Tuareg Rebellion in Niger and Mali in the early 1990s, and an ongoing conflict in Côte d'Ivoire that began in 2002.
11Georgaphy Mangrove forest and many swaps (Nigerian area) Niagara Delta region largest wetland in the worldCoastal plains on Atlantic OceanMany forests and rainforestsComposed of semi-arid terrainWest Africa is known as Bulge of Africa
12Culture Nigeria is made up of over 400 ethnic nationalities Festivals important way to celebrate cultureNative arts and handcrafts very important and many people create themWeaving, wood carving, ceramics, pottery making, clothing are other examples of what they create and sell
13RecipesPalava Sauce250 ml (8 fl oz) palm oil 4 medium onions, finely chopped 4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and mashed Salt and pepper to taste 2-4 red chillies (hot peppers), finely chopped (optional) 250 g (1/2 lb) diced cooked meat or leftovers (optional, although not chicken) and/or 250 g (1/2 lb) fish e.g. snapper, tuna, salmon or trevally 125 g (1/4 lb) smoked herring, boned (optional) 200 g (6-1/2 oz) dried prawns (shrimp) 3 bunches of spinach (sliver beet) or 750 g (1-1/2 lb) frozen spinach (silver beet), washed and chopped 100 g (3-1/2 oz) egushi (shelled pumpkin seeds or pepitas), ground in a coffee grinderHeat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onions until golden. Add the tomatoes, pepper to taste and the chillies (hot peppers). If you are using corn oil (see Note) add turmeric here. Cook for minutes on low heat, stirring regularly (not continuously). Add salt to taste with your choice of diced, cooked meat and fish. Stir in the smoked herring with the dried prawns (shrimp). Simmer on very low heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Add the spinach (silver beet) to the meat mixture. Cover and simmer on low heat for minutes or until the spinach (silver beet) is soft and cooked. Stir regularly, taking care not to break up the fish too much. Add the egushi (pumpkin seeds) and stir them into the sauce. Cook for a further minutes on low heat.Serve hot with boiled rice, yams, plantains, gari (coarse cassava flour), Banku (cornmeal dumplings) or any root vegetable, roasted, boiled or grilled.Recipe Origin: GHANA
14Recipes(Cont.) Omanhene Orange Cheesecake Crust: 1/3 c unblanched (skins on) whole almonds 1 Tbsp granulated sugar 1-1/4 c graham cracker crumbs 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, meltedButter the sides ONLY (using butter in addition to the 5 Tbsp) of an assembled 9 x 3-inch springform pan (mine is a wonderful non-stick, made by a company called "Kaiser"). Set aside. In food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine almonds and sugar. Process only until almonds are very finely chopped. Turn into medium bowl; add graham crackers crumbs and mix well. Add melted butter; stir to mix thoroughly. Turn crust into prepared pan. With fingers or back of spoon, use most of crust mixture to form a crust all the way up the pan sides. Compact remaining crust mixture firmly and evenly on bottom of pan. (Try not to have crust too thick where pan sides and bottom meet). Chill until needed.Batter:20 ingots (0.7 oz. each) Omanhene dark milk chocolate, chopped 24 oz. cream cheese, softened 1-1/4 c granulated sugar 2 Tbsp flour Pinch salt 2 large eggs & 1 egg yolk 2/3 c sour cream 1-1/4 c heavy cream 1/4 c orange liqueur Grated zest of 2 large deep colored oranges 1 tsp pure vanillaImportant: this cheesecake will drip while baking -- you'll want a tray under it. To make one, use about a 15 to 18-inch length of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold each side in several times; you want a "tray" about one foot square with standing sides about an inch high. The "tray" should fit on an oven rack with at least an inch or two of empty space on all sides to allow for air circulation. Set the "tray" aside.Adjust one rack to center of oven and one rack to position below center. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In medium heat proof bowl, place chopped chocolate. Set over hot water on low heat; stir often until almost melted. Remove from heat and hot water; stir until smooth. Set aside.In large bowl of electric mixer, combine softened cream cheese, sugar, flour and salt. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes, just until perfectly smooth. Scrape bowl and beaters frequently throughout mixing process. At a low speed, add eggs, one a t time, then yolk, beating until smooth after each addition. Still at low speed, add sour cream, then gradually add heavy cream, beating only until combined. All at once, add chocolate, which may be slightly warm. Again, beat only until mixed. Remove bowl from mixer.With large spatula, gently stir in liqueur, orange zest, and vanilla, mixing only until blended. Batter should be smooth.
15Recipes (Cont.) Turn into chilled crust. Gently twist pan from side to side to level batter (batter will not reach top of crust -- ok). With toothpick, prick any obvious air bubbles. Place foil "tray" on lower oven rack in pre-heated oven. Place cheesecake on center rack and close oven door.Bake 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 degrees F. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes longer, only until outer two inches or so of cheesecake appears "set". Remove to cooling rack. Cool at room temperature, away from drafts, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.Gently loosen cheesecake from pan sides. Carefully release sides of springform pan. Chill cheesecake at least overnight before serving; wrap tightly when cold. Serve in small portions, accompanied, if you wish, by lightly sweetened whipped cream and/or sectioned oranges.Serves 16 or more.Spicy Foods Make West Africans Cooler A typical meal in West Africa is heavy on starchy foods, light on meat, generous on fat and commonly cooked in one pot. the most telling characteristic of an African dish is heat: chile peppers are used beyond what we would begin to think of as hot. The most notorious peppers, the Scotch Bonnets and the pilli pilli, earn respect from even the most dedicated chile-heads. Equatorial climates all tend to encourage the use of chiles, as these hot foods produce the effect of "gustatory sweating" -- distinguished from other types of bodily perspiration and resulting in an overall cooling effect
16Recipes (Cont.) Jollof Rice Jollof Rice is among the best known of West African dishes not only because it is delicious and easy to prepare, but because the ingredients are readily available in Western countries! Its origin, however, remains a bone of contention between several West African nations. There are many regional cooking variations — this version is my mother's!500 g (1 lb) lean beef or chicken Salt and ground white pepper, to taste Vegetable oil for frying 1L (1-3/4 pt) stock or water with 3 crushed stock cubes 3 large onions, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 2-3 chillies (hot peppers), finely chopped 4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and blended or mashed 45 g (3 tablespoons) tomato paste 250 g (8 oz) each of assorted chopped vegetables, e.g. carrots, green beans, mushrooms and capsicums (sweet or bell peppers) 500 g (1 lb) long-grain rice Lettuce, parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro) and hard-boiled eggs to garnishCut meat or chicken into 5 cm (2 in) cubes or small pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to stand for 1-2 hours.Heat oil in fry-pan and fry the meat or chicken pieces until brown. Remove meat from oil and add to the stock in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Simmer on low heat until meat begins to soften, then remove from heat.Drain excess oil from fry pan leaving enough oil to fry onions, garlic and chillies (hot peppers) until golden. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, half the combined vegetables and 250 mL (8 fl oz) of stock from the meat mixture. Stir well, adjust seasoning and simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add this vegetable sauce to the meat mixture in the saucepan and simmer gently. Finally, stir in the uncooked, long-grain rice. Adjust the seasoning again, cover and simmer slowly on low heat for about 15 minutes.Arrange the remaining vegetables on top of the rice and continue to simmer until the rice absorbs all the stock, softens and cooks, and the meat is tender. It may be necessary to sprinkle additional water mix to help the rice cook. If so use small amounts at a time of approximately 250 mL (8 fl oz) lightly salted water.Serve hot, garnished with chopped lettuce, parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro) and hard-boiled eggs.
17Recipes (Cont.) West African Kebabs (Kyinkyinga) Like plantain and nuts, Kyinkyinga (pronounced 'chinchinga') is 'street' food and a vendor's delight. Because these moist, seasoned skewers of meat and capsicum (sweet or bell pepper) attract flies, Kyinkyinga is kept in closed glass cabinets which are perched precariously on the vendors' heads.The vendors rush into traffic stopped at red lights or up to buses and lorries parked at rest stops to try to make a quick sale. The acrobatics involved in balancing a heavy glass case full of hot Kyinkyinga while simultaneously counting change from a money belt defies description!1 kg (2 lb) medium lean steak or liver 3 medium green capsicums (sweet or bell peppers), halved, seeded and cut into 2.5 cm (1-inch) squares 30 g (1 oz) unsalted, dry-roasted groundnuts (peanuts) ground to powder in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestleSeasonings4 medium onions, diced 10 g (2 teaspoons) grated root ginger 30 g (1 oz) plain flour 60 g (2 oz) unsalted, dry-roasted groundnuts (peanuts) ground to powder 2 large overripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and mashed 15 g (1 tablespoon) garlic salt 15 mL (1 tablespoon) fresh Chilli Sambal Tabasco sauce or chilli paste (e.g. Sambal Oelek)Remove excess fat from meat, wipe with a clean damp cloth or paper towel and cut into bite-sized cubes. Mix all ingredients for seasoning together in a bowl. Combine the meat and half the seasoning and mix thoroughly. Stand for a minimum of 1 hour before grilling. Skewer the seasoned meat alternately with the green capsicums (sweet or bell peppers) and grill until cooked and browned both sides. If liver is used, be careful not to overcook and dry it out.Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the remaining 30 g (1 oz) of the groundnut (peanut) powder. Serve with salad, rice, bread or by itself. Leftover seasoning can be made into a sauce: add 60 mL (2 fl oz) wine (Moselle or ginger wine) and heat to thicken, then pour over the kebabs. You can make the sauce thinner by adding more wine.