Guinness and Johnnie Walker owner, Diageo Plc has invested over $1 billion in Africa within the last five years, reports Bloomberg Business. Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes has also stated that the company predicts that 20 percent of its sales will come from Africa in the future.
According to Menezes, growing nations like Ethiopia will be the key to establishing Africa as “one of the pillars of the next decade.” Diageo already manufactures in 16 African countries, including in the Meto Abo brewery which they bought from the Ethiopian government for $225 million three years ago. The London-based company has invested in a new bottling line at Meto Abo and new wells to bring drinking water to thousands of local residents. Furthermore, Diageo has support from the Ethiopian government, a great advantage in an economy that is expected to grow an average of 8.1 percent annually through 2019 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Heineken is catching on as well, buying two breweries of their own in Ethiopia in 2011. Menezes sees room for everyone in this emerging economy saying, “I see a market the size of Ethiopia having significant opportunities for all the players to grow.” [Bloomberg Business][Photo: Flickr/Alison Park]