HARGEISA, May 23 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. has opened a $15 million bottling plant in Somalia’s breakaway enclave of Somaliland, part of a plan to win more African consumers by investing $12 billion in the continent by 2020, the company said on Wednesday.
The production plant is the first major industrial investment for the enclave, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991, but has not been recognised internationally.
“This investment will create an estimated 135 direct jobs and 2,500 indirect jobs, and will contribute to a healthy distribution and retail sector in Somaliland. Our commitment to the continent of Africa remains enduring and unshakable,” said Nathan Kalumbu, regional president for the company.
Coca-Cola carried out the investment with local partner Somaliland Beverage Industries, based on a franchising agreement, it said.
Ahmed Guelleh, the chairman of Somaliland Beverage, said the plant would also help the breakaway enclave to build a manufacturing capacity.
Other commercial activities in Somaliland that have caught the eye of foreign firms include oil and gas exploration as well as construction.