AFRICA – Coca-Cola plc, one of the biggest non-alcoholic beverage companies in the world, has pledged to invest $5 billion in Africa over the next six years.
This amount is meant to cover manufacturing capacity, sustainability initiatives and create jobs in Africa.
This new fund has raised the total investment commitment of Coca-Cola to $17 billion in Africa. This is in addition of the $12 billion Coca-Cola had already promised to invest in Africa from 2010 – 2020.
These investments are expected to have an impact on the African continent by creating more jobs, empowering the female population and providing access to safe drinking water through its corporate social responsibility to the continent.
Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, says the company is targeting Africa’s growing middle-class, whom he says spends more money on high-end soft drinks and juices, “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 would be launching a new initiative dubbed “Source Africa” with the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and Grow Africa, to get more consistent and sustainable local ingredient for its products.
It intends to focus initially on sustainable mango and tea production in Kenya; mango and pineapple production in Nigeria, and mango in Malawi. It plans to expand “Source Africa” to Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Mozambique in the future.
This initiative would boost the agricultural markets of Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, and other African countries, as Coca-Cola plans to expand ‘‘Source Africa’’ initiative too. The production would increase locally produced mango and pineapple production in the country.
“In Africa, we believe we can do more to source agricultural ingredients locally, with significant supply potential that’s underdeveloped and under-utilised,” Kent says further.
Experts are of the opinion that this investment is a good move by the Coca-Cola company. The impact of creating jobs, empowering women and providing corporate social responsibility is a welcome development.