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Somaliland Sun Editorial Team, May 20, 2013
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|Somaliland: Coca-Cola Inaugurate Bottling Plant|
|Tuesday, 22 May 2012 19:13|
"My 28 years dream became a reality today-Ahmed Gelle SBI proprietor
By: Yusuf M Hasan
JALEELO Village (Somalilandsun) – The nation celebrated, in style, the opening of its first industrial plant.
The Coca-Cola Company today opened a new state-of-the-art bottling plant in Jalelo village 35 kilometers North of Hargeisa which has the capacity to produce 18,000 crates of assorted beverages daily.
The grand opening of the Coca-Cola bottling plant which was officiated by the president H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo saw over 2000 people in participation including 5 cabinet ministers from Djibouti, Senior Coca-Cola co executives, members of parliament, cabinet ministers, Political & Traditional leaders, ordinary Somalilanders as well as local & Djibouti based business tycoons.
According to the Coca-Cola president for Central, East & West Africa Mr. Nathan Kahumba, the US $15 million investment by the global beverage maker and its local partner, the Somaliland Beverage Industries, is part of the Coca-Cola system's commitment to invest US $12 billion in the African continent by 2020, starting in 2010.
Describing the significance of the investment in the Somaliland bottling plant by the global brand, said, "We are delighted about this new opportunity to refresh our consumers with high quality beverage choices. This investment will create an estimated 135 direct jobs and 2,500 indirect ones, and will contribute to a healthy distribution and retail sector in Somaliland".
The regional Coca-Cola president stressed the company's commitment to the continent of Africa saying that it remains enduring and unshakeable
The chairman of Somaliland Beverage Industries-SBI Mr. Ahmed Osman Gelle expressed optimism and confidence about the investment the Coca-Cola system has made in the region, said he, "Bringing the production of Coca-Cola brands to Somaliland not only the much needed entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, but builds local capability through access to global best practice and manufacturing standards, including ISO and environmental and safety standards".
The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Somaliland which is based on a 100% franchising agreement with SBI is 28 years dreams come true for the late Osman Gelle Farah whose immediate family holds the franchise.
The SBI chairman thanked president Silanyo for his support in making the plant a reality; he also thanked Jalelo residence who made plant construction land available.
Mr. Ahmed Osman Gelle appealed to all Somalilanders to support the growth of the plant thus ensures that other local investors are encouraged in investing similarly.
The president of Somaliland H.E. Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo termed the opening of the industrial plant as a major economic milestone in the country.
"I extend my personal congratulations and those of the nation to both Coca-Cola and SBI for the massive investment they have made in the country" Said the president
President Silanyo said that the plant will not only create employment opportunities and refresh consumers with cheap and locally produced beverages but will place the country in the regional economic map.
While promising the two companies 100% government support and cooperation president Silanyo asked other local and international investors to have confidence in the country and invest.
"We in government are ready to provide necessary incentives to other producers willing to enter the lucrative investment sector prevalent in our country" Said the president
President Silanyo on the importance of various commercial and banking laws enacted since the Kulmiye party government he leads came to power 2 years ago. He said these laws have been put in place in order to facilitate ease of both local and foreign investors.
Though the bottling plant was officially opened today it has been in production for a number of months with its current production of Sprite, Coca-Cola and Fanta garnering supremacy in the consumer market especially rural in rural areas.
Company executives say their drive is now within urban centres thus remove completely availability of fake and expired beverages from the local market.
A press release by Coca-Cola described the company as:
The Coca-Cola company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand. Our company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, Vitamin water, PowerAde, Minute maid, Simply, Georgia and Del vale. Globally we are No. 1 provider in sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juice drinks.
Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com
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