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Coca Cola in Sh5.2b Kenya venture

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – Coca-Cola has announced a Sh5.2 billion investment in Kenya over the next three years, reinforcing its 63-year commitment and confidence in the region.

The investment will be channelled towards modernisation of equipment and expanding existing capacity.

Coke says this reinforces the Sh1 trillion investment commitment for Africa by the year 2020.  Already, the beverage giant has pumped half a trillion into the African economy over the last decade.

Coca-Cola\’s Group President for Eurasia-Africa Ahmet Bozer said the company was optimistic about Africa and their commitment to the continent is enduring and unshakable.

He added that they see tremendous growth potential for Africa and particularly Kenya, whose steady rate of economic growth, and efforts by the Government in reform and infrastructure upgrade over the last six years has given them confidence about doing business here.

Evidence of this is supported by recent operational changes with the Nairobi regional headquarters which is now responsible for a total of 39 countries, an increase from the 27 countries it covered previously, adding Nigeria and French West Africa to its existing portfolio of East and Central Africa markets.

The company plans to use the funds from the investment to upgrade existing plants across the country, increasing efficiencies and outputs while allowing the bottlers to serve the market even better.

In addition, the company will use the investment to further develop the juice industry in the region, revamping the Beverage Services Kenya plant in Nairobi and turning it into the competitive hub for juice manufacturing.

As part of its commitment towards developing the juice manufacturing sector in East Africa, Coca-Cola has announced a Sh924 million partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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The partnership will give more than 35,000 mango and fruit farmers from the Rift Valley, Central, and Eastern Provinces, access to the Coca-Cola local supply chain for the first time. As a result, these farmers have the potential to see their farm incomes double by 2014.

The Kenyan soft drinks market is currently experiencing a huge evolution, bringing increased focus on juices and malt-based soft drinks.

There is a steady increase in consumption of fruit and vegetable juices in Kenya with analysts estimating a volume growth of three percent annually.

Don\’t forget to follow us TWITTER @CapitalFM_Kenya and NDERITU NDEGWA(author)

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