, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – The Coca-Cola Company on Thursday kicked off celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of its operations in Kenya, commemorating the day with an event that traced the origins of the company in the country and celebrated the milestones achieved over this period.
Coca-Cola company first set up shop in the country in 1948 along Industrial Area’s Addis Ababa Road, “it has in the years since its establishment contributed billions of shillings to the Kenyan economy, employing thousands of Kenyans both directly and indirectly and joining the ranks of Kenya’s oldest multi-nationals,” reads a statement sent to newsrooms.
Speaking during the celebrations Coca-Cola’s General Manager for East Africa Peter Njonjo reiterated the company’s commitment to Kenya, stating that Coca-Cola and Kenya had shared many milestones and would share many more.
“We are a global company but very much a local business. They employ local people and use local raw materials and services. This has defined our system’s success over the years,” said Njonjo.
“When Kenya achieved independence in 1963, Coca-Cola was here; when the country ushered in a new Constitution 47 year later, we were here to witness the momentous occasion. Today we celebrate another milestone in Coca-Cola’s journey in Kenya, marking a period during which the company has changed in many ways but has stayed true to its promise of delivering quality, value and happiness to the millions who consume our products,” he expressed.
Commenting on the company’s continued investment in the country Njonjo said: “Our investment in Kenya is driven by our belief in the opportunities for growth available in the country. We believe that Kenya’s economic outlook is bright, buoyed by an explosion of consumer demand driven by rapid urbanization and increasing economic growth, which is expected to rise to 5 per cent and remain above this for the next couple of years.”
He added: “Since we began our operations here 65 years ago we have seen Kenya develop significantly, the last decade alone witnessing such growth in infrastructure that we believe that in another 65 years to come, Kenya will have achieved its development goals and will have set higher ones. We want Coca-Cola to have been and to continue to be part of Kenya’s exciting growth story.”
“As we mark this critical milestone, we see a company and a system shaped by its youth and not its age. We see a company playing in an industry with incredible possibilities.”
Kenya is ranked as one of the top three markets for Coca-Cola in Sub Saharan Africa and is among the top 50 most followed investment destinations by the company globally, signifying the country’s growing importance to the Company.
With recent developments in infrastructure, ICT, energy and trade policies, Kenya has become an attractive investment destination in Sub-Saharan Africa, with companies such as Coca-Cola expected to contribute markedly to the 700 million USD in foreign direct investment projected to flow into the country by 2017.
“Our inclusive business model is anchored on responsible business, which has ensured that Coca-Cola’s contribution to the economy can be measured beyond the financial impact to the social and environmental impact seen through our involvement in sustainability, climate protection, women empowerment and sports; all facets of our business that have contributed greatly to what this company is today,” said Njonjo.
Founded in 1886 by a pharmacist – Dr. John Pemberton – Coca-Cola has grown to become one of the world’s most valuable businesses, manufacturing and selling over 500 brands in over 200 countries and claiming the coveted title of the world’s most recognizable brand.