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Americans, Europeans urged to help rein in soaring oil prices
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A combined effort between American and European consumers to reduce their rate of energy consumption could be very helpful for bringing down the skyrocketing global crude oil prices," Senegal's Internal Trade Director Amadou Niang has said.

The internal trade director, who was addressing a press briefing in Dakar on Monday, said that such a move would help greatly, as there was an undeniable "link between the world food crisis and the soaring oil prices."

"The combined effort of Americans and Europeans to scale down their energy consumption would be enough to bring down at least a third of the current oil consumption," said Niang, adding that there was need for joint effort to tackle the current crisis that was mostly affecting poor people.

"If the Americans agreed to buy European-type four-wheel-drive vehicles which consume a liter of petrol every 13 kilometers, we could see the price of a barrel of oil currently at around 130 US dollars decline by half," said the internal trade director.

Earlier on Sunday, the internal trade director had hosted a public lecture on the problem and issues revolving around the so-called Great Agricultural Offensive for Food and Abundance (GOANA), which was launched by the government as part of wider efforts to promote food-crop farming in the country.

In his lecture, which was held at a Dakar suburb, Niang sought to address issues such as the ownership, extent and nation-wide dissemination of the program that was launched at a colorful ceremony by President Abdoulaye Wade in the wake of food riots.

Asked by the audience to comment on the specter of the soaring staple food prices, which have so far led to riots in several countries in West Africa, Niang said that "this current crisis is the only thing that is evenly shared across the world."

"This is the first time that we are witnessing a crisis that manifests itself almost in the same way everywhere in both the developed as well as underdeveloped countries," said the internal trade director, arguing that "resolving the matter was urgent and that it could not be simply wished away."

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2008)

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