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Encyclopedia > Parakou

Parakou is the largest city in northern Benin, with a population of around 200,000 people. It lies on the main north-south highway and at the end of a railway to Cotonou. This has made it an important market town, while major industries include peanut oil manufacture and a brewery. Cotonou, population 536,827 (1992), is the seat of government of Benin, though the official capital is Porto-Novo. ... The market town is a medieval phenomenon. ... Binomial name Arachis hypogaea L. The Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is a species in the pea family Fabaceae native to South America. ... A brewery is a facility that produces beer. ...

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Parakou, derived from a Dendi word meaning "La Ville de Tout le Monde" (the city of everyone) is easily the most diverse city in Bénin with an outstanding mixture of Benin's many ethnicities: Bariba, Dendi, Somba, Fon, Gun, Mina, Dita Mari, Berba, Zarma, Ibo, Yoruba, Nagot, Hausa, Kabrais, Warma, Peulh, and Tuareg.
Located a few kilometers from Parakou, it offers a variety of vegetarian products for sale (such as soy milk) and also boasts a telecenter for those looking to send or receive e-mails.
Among the recommended dishes here are couscous, ignâme pilé (a yam dish popular with both locals and taourists), rice, fish, chicken, wagasi, boules de sesame (little balls of sesame in a red sauce), sauce gombo (made with okra), sauce legume (made with a local spinach-like leaf) and mutton.
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