The Coca-Cola Company and its African bottling partners announced a new investment of $5 billion during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held earlier this week. To be made over the next six years, this increases the company’s total announced investment in Africa to $17 billion from 2010 to 2020.
The companies anticipate that the investment will fund new manufacturing lines, cooling and distribution equipment and production; create additional jobs and opportunities across Coke’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.
“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,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
The company made other announcements at the Summit:
- It has 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.
“In Africa, we believe we can do more to source agricultural ingredients locally, with significant supply potential that’s underdeveloped and underutilized. Tapping this potential could accelerate the growth of our business and Africa’s emerging economies, making our supply chains more cost effective and enabling sub-Saharan Africa to supply more ingredients to growing markets in Africa and beyond,” Kent said.
- 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 4 million African people.
The program expansion will work to improve sustainable safe water access for 6 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.
A number of consumer goods companies have recently ramped up efforts to improve access to safe and clean water in Africa: Last month, P&G and the Human Needs Project launched a sustainable community center in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, which will supply clean water to the community; in April, Armani's Acqua for Life campaign, which works on sustainable drinking water systems, expanded to more countries in West Africa; a portion of the proceeds from coffee from TOMS Roasting Company, launched in March, is directed to helping improve access to clean water in the countries from which it sources its beans (Africa and Latin America); and in February, H&M teamed up with WaterAid to deliver safe water, sanitation and hygiene education programs in schools throughout the developing world.