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A Return to Traditional African Diets

Across Africa, a growing number of plant-based restaurants are opening in response to health and environmental challenges. Happy Cow, an app that helps vegetarians and vegans find places to eat around the world, lists more than 900 restaurants with vegan options across Africa. More than half of these were added in the past two years. Thirty fully vegan restaurants have been listed since the start of 2018. South Africa has been at the forefront of this push, with veganism booming in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Cities such as Nairobi in Kenya, and Accra in Ghana, today boast a dozen meat-free restaurants. In research on the world’s healthiest diets, published in the Lancet in 2015, west African countries such as Mali, Chad, Senegal and Sierra Leone, which boasted diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, topped the list.