HARGEISA — An opening ceremony was held in Marodi Jeh province on Tuessday to inaugurate global beverage leader Coca-Cola’s first bottling plant in Somaliland.
The state-of-the-art facility, first of it’s in the country was officially inaugurated on May 22 by the President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed (Silanyo).
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the President said he was delighted to see local and international investors unlock the potential of social entrepreneurship in the country.
He said his government will assist anyone who is willing to invest in commercial and industrial development and that they would endorse closer collaboration with the private sector.
Nathan Kalumba, President of Central, East and West Africa for The Coca-Cola Company described the significance of the investment made by the giant global brand. “We are very delighted to be opening this new plant which will offer an opportunity to refresh our esteemed consumers with high quality beverages choices,” he said.
Mr. Kalumba said the investment is expected to directly create 135 new jobs and generate an additional 2,500 job opportunities in supporting industries including logistics and the retail sector in Somaliland. Mr. Kalumba added, “our commitment to the African continent remains enduring and unshakable.”
The US$17 million investment by The Coca-Cola Company and its local partner, Somaliland Beverage Industries (SPi), is part of a US$12 billion commitment for the African continent by 2020.
The Chairman of Somaliland Beverage industries, Mr. Ahmed Osman Gueeleh expressed optimism and confidence about the investment the system had made in the region. “Bringing the production of Coca-Cola brands to Somaliland will not only bring the much needed entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, but will build local capability through access to global practice and manufacturing standards, including ISO environmental and safety standards.”
The Coca-Cola bottling plant investment in Somaliland is based on a 100% franchising agreement between the American global brand and SPi and its local investors.
The plant will manufacture brands including Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero and others.