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World: Coca-Cola Company, African bottling partners to invest US$5B in region over six years

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The Coca-Cola Company and its African bottling partners has on August 5, 2014 announced an investment of US$5 billion during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, US.

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.

“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.”

Sustainable, local ingredient sourcing

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 US$11.5 million partnership supporting 50,000 small-scale fruit farmers in East Africa to sustainably grow their crops and income.

Offering safe water access to Africans

At the Summit, Kent also announced that The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) will expand its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) through 2020 to support Pan-African safe water access and sanitation programs for an additional four million African people.

This new expansion adds to TCCAF’s original RAIN commitment to bring safe water access to two million people across the continent by 2015.

Through the RAIN program expansion, TCCAF and its public and private partners will work to improve sustainable safe water access for six million Africans; economically empower up to 250,000 women and youth; promote health and hygiene in thousands of communities, schools, and health centers; and return up to 18.5 billion liters of water to nature and communities.

To date, TCCAF has made investments and collaborated with more than 140 partners to reach two million people with sustainable, safe water access across at least 37 of Africa’s 55 countries by the end of 2015.

Programs undertaken to improve the local community

The company and its Foundations also remain committed to other programs focused on improving community well-being and women’s economic empowerment in Africa, including:

• Project Last Mile: In June 2014, Coca-Cola, its Foundations, and public and private partners announced a $21 million expansion of the medical supply delivery program to an additional eight African countries over the next five years.

• 5by20: To date, Coca-Cola has reached more than 370,000 women entrepreneurs in 18 African countries through its 5by20 economic empowerment initiative. Since 5by20 launched in 2010, more than 550,000 women entrepreneurs in the global Coca-Cola value chain have been economically empowered on the initiative’s journey to reach 5 million by 2020.

• EKOCENTER: In 2014, Coca-Cola is piloting its public-private partnership to bring sustainable community markets operated by women entrepreneurs in six countries in Africa, Asia and North America.