ETHIOPIA – Raya Brewery S.C. is to start testing its factory in 15 days to begin production of beer before the end of the December.

Atakilti Kiros, Raya’s general manager, made the announcement during a meeting held at Elilly International Hotel on Tuesday, November 25, 2014, to issue certificates to shareholders.

The Raya Brewery began construction in November 2013 in Bohera Mountains, south of Maichew Town, 667km away from Addis Abeba, and completed it within a year,said Atakilti.

The Brewery, was established by 58 founding shareholders, including Tsadkan Gebretinsae, former army chief of staff, and Ambachew Abreha, former head of Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL), back in April 2010. It has now about 2,441 shareholders.

The Ethiopian beer industry, has been in recent years, joined by international giants. One is Diageo, a premium drinks business company which produces more than 65 million hectolitres from more than 100 sites in 30 countries. It bought Meta Abo Brewery S.C for 250 million dollar in 2013.

Another beer company, Heineken, is recognised as the largest international brewery in the world, with brands in 178 countries and the ability to produce 178.3 million hectolitres annually.

The company acquired the Bedele and Harar breweries in 2011 for 163.4 million dollars and has constructed a new factory, near Kilinto in AkakiKaliti District, where it has been producing its new and popular Walia brand since September, 2014.

Furthermore, there is BGI Ethiopia, producer of St.George, Castel and Amber beer. It has a total capacity of producing 2.7 million hectoliters of beer annually, with a 52pc share of the Ethiopian market. There is also Habesha Brewery S.C, which is expected to enter the market shortly and will be a competitor to Raya.

Raya has its eye on the growing demand and dominance in the northern market, according to Yemane Kidane, a shareholder in the company. Its Current production in Ethiopia stands at about 5.62 million hectolitres.

Raya has tested its beer at hotels in Mekelle, Dessie, and Addis Abeba, where it received a favourable response, according to Atakilti said.

“We have already recruited distributors competitively, and this would enable us to reach all over the country,” Atakilti said.

Raya’s production capacity is 600,000 hectolitres (about 180 million bottles of beer annually). The construction of the factory and acquisition of machinery started after the shareholders raised 600 million Br from the sale of shares and obtained a grant of 910 million Br loan from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE).

The Company has begun issuing certificates of ownership to its shareholders, beginning from November 25, and will continue to do so for the next few days.

December 5, 2014;