The Coca-Cola Company and its African bottling partners today announced a new investment of US$5 billion during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit here. The investment, to be made over the next six years, increases its total announced investment in Africa to $17 billion from 2010 to 2020. The Company and its bottling partners anticipate that this investment will fund new manufacturing lines, cooling and distribution equipment and production; create additional jobs and opportunities across Coca-Cola’s African supply chain; and support key sustainability initiatives and programs focused on safe water access, sustainable sourcing, women’s economic empowerment, community well-being and operational efficiency improvements.
“As an organization that has been part of the economic and social fabric of Africa since 1928, we and our local bottling partners have seen, firsthand, the great promise and potential of this dynamic, growing and vibrant continent,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “Even as we see tremendous growth potential in Africa, we know that the strength and sustainability of our business are tied directly to the strength and sustainability of the African communities we proudly serve.”
The Company has also signed a Letter of Intent to launch Source Africa, an initiative to secure more consistent and sustainable local ingredient sourcing for its products in partnership with the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and Grow Africa. The initiative will initially focus on sustainable mango and tea production in Kenya; citrus, mango and pineapple production in Nigeria; and mango in Malawi. Longer-term, the program could expand to focus on sustainable ingredient production in Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania and Mozambique. Source Africa builds on the experience of Coca-Cola’s work in sustainable agriculture, including Project Nurture, an $11.5 million partnership supporting 50,000 small-scale fruit farmers in East Africa to sustainably grow their crops and income.
Kent added, “As a business, we’re committed to creating public value and helping our communities overcome development challenges. In Africa, we believe we can do more to source agricultural ingredients locally, with significant supply potential that’s underdeveloped and underutilised. Tapping this potential could accelerate the growth of our business and Africa’s emerging economies, making our supply chains more cost effective and enabling sub-Saharan Africa to supply more ingredients to growing markets in Africa and beyond.”