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OPINION: Why did Senegal allow KFC in their country?
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OPINION: Why did Senegal allow KFC in their country?

The ribbon was cut; hip, hip, hip, Hooray! The people of Dakar ecstatically celebrated the arrival of KFC to their shores which will eventually send them to their early grave. 

Senegalese chicken giant, Sedima Group, under the leadership of Babacar Ngom, completed a protracted franchise agreement with the American fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Kitchen (KFC) and opened its first restaurant in Dakar, Senegal recently. 

According to news reports, negotiations have been ongoing since 2016 because KFC were reluctant for a franchise far away in Senegal where they can’t properly monitor its operation. They don’t want anything to taint their brand. KFC did a forensic audit of Sedima to assess its capacity, readiness and finance. 

How KFC franchises work in Europe and North America Is that you own the restaurant but trading under their brand name for an initial franchise fee and a monthly royalty fee. In Senegal, Sedima will be using their own Chickens and perhaps ordering materials from KFC America.

 With an overstretched, crumbling health sector, the last thing Senegal needs is a fast-food joint to add to their health woes. Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular diseases are all linked to obesity. 

Dipping chickens in flour and frying it in trans fats oil will, without a doubt, increase the consumer's overall body fat percentage and put them at greater health risk. 

Disappointingly, some Gambians, perhaps out of ignorance, were celebrating this as a big achievement. I would have joined them in celebrating if it was Google, Apple that opened an office in Senegal. 

Another thing that would have worked wonders in Dakar is Uber taxi service. Anybody who frequents Dakar will know about their extortionist taxi drivers. Uber would have kept them in check and spare residents and visitors change. 

Will other big companies like Patisen, Senico follow suit and have McDonald’s, Burger King, Dominos or Pizza hut franchises in Senegal? I swear Africa is cursed. We celebrate things that are a detriment to our existence and called it civilization or progression. There are lots of good things to get or copy from the west but this isn’t one of them. Can someone please tell Mr Ngom not to even try to bring his crispy chicken to our shores? We are very much content with our healthy cuisines – Durangho, Benechin, Supa Kanja etc. 

Finally, to our visiting so-called celebrities to Dakar, please don’t embarrass yourself. There is nothing special about dining at KFC. In Europe and North America, even 10-year-olds can afford it. So, please keep your selfies taken at Dakar’s KFC for your photo album. We are not interested in seeing them.


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