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Coca-Cola Nigeria to spend $600 million on new products by 2020

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Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited said it plans to invest $600 million by 2020 to boost sales, as part of the parent company’s global strategy to offer more consumer likeable products that goes beyond its carbonated soft drinks. The Nigerian subsidiary of the Atlanta-based soft drinks maker said it wants to expand its product offerings to include flavoured and condensed milk, ice tea and bottled water to meet demand, said Peter Njonjo, the President of Coca-Cola West Africa, in an interview with Bloomberg Business in Lagos. “Our objective is to provide whatever beverages you need across your life stages,” he said. The $600m is part of an ambitious programme by the Atlanta-based Coke to invest $17bn in Africa by 2020. Coca-Cola new Chief Executive officer, James Quincey has said the company needs t

Nigerian Breweries – Financial Market Forum Wrap-Up

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Nigerian Breweries Plc, the nation’s largest brewer held its ‘2017 Financial Market Forum’ on 14th September 2017 at the company’s Iganmu-Lagos facility, where the new CEO Johan Doyer and Finance Director, Mark Rutten held a briefing of the company’s business and gave analysts a tour of the Iganmu plant. The company posted a 15% revenue growth in the first-half of 2017, driven partly by earlier price increases. Beer volumes in the period declined mid-single digit. The brewer said it has implemented further marginal price increases in the N220 to N230 price range for select brands at the start of the third quarter of 2017 with the aim boosting margins amidst local input cost pressures. Volumes and market share remain under pressure, the company said, a trend that began two years ago as cons

Royal FrieslandCampina announces leadership change; CEO Roelof Joosten to step down next year

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Netherlands-based Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., one of the world’s leading dairy firms and the parent company of FreislandCampina WAMCO, announced on Wednesday that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Roelof Joosten will step down on 1 January 2018, and to be succeeded by Hein Schumacher, the company’s current Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Schumacher became a member of the Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Royal FrieslandCampina in January 2015. Prior to this, he worked at Heinz in both financial and general management positions in the Netherlands, the United States, the UK and China. The company said that Schumacher’s leadership skills, experience and vision will further strengthen the company both operationally and commercially and so generate more value for the member

AB InBev to increase equity stake in Nigerian operation post-merger

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Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian brewer which controls three independently operated breweries in Nigeria will increase its majority equity stake in International Breweries Plc (“IBPlc”) to 75.1% following the completion of the ongoing merger of its Nigerian operations. AB InBev announced in early June that the Board of Directors of its three indirect Nigerian subsidiaries – IBPlc, Intafact Beverages Limited and Pabod Breweries Limited had agreed to explore a merger of their operations subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. The firm followed up in August by announcing it had secured the needed regulatory approvals from the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Nigerian Stock exchange (“NSE”) to merge its operations in Nigeria. According to a report by the Na

Iran’s Kurds are growing restless, too

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THE Kurds of Iran are calling for independence just as lustily as their cousins in Iraq, perhaps even more so. While the mood in the streets of Iraq’s Kurdish cities was generally subdued and nervous after their referendum on independence on September 25th, wilder celebrations erupted across the border in Iranian Kurdistan. In the Kurdish cities of Baneh, Sanandaj and Mahabad demonstrations lasted for two days, even as armoured cars drove through the streets heralding a wave of arrests. Crowds sang the anthem of the Republic of Mahabad, the Kurdish state that briefly held sway in north-western Iran in 1946. Kurdish flags flew from lampposts. Some Iranian Kurds talked dreamily of a state they call Rojhelat, or East Kurdistan, which would slough off the “occupation” by Ajamastan, a pejorativ

Egypt’s Shia come out of hiding

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SINCE the dawn of Islam, Shias have been trying to penetrate Egypt. Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law and the first imam of Shia Islam, sent a loyal follower to govern the area. But no sooner had he arrived than he was captured by Sunni opponents, sewn into the belly of a donkey and burnt. Later the Fatimids, a Shia dynasty, captured Egypt and ruled it for two centuries. But Saladin overthrew them and, according to Shia lore, massacred thousands while levelling much of Cairo. “Kharab al-Din,” spits a Shia librarian in Alexandria, twisting Saladin’s name to mean destroyer of religion. Since then Shias in Egypt have pretended to be Sunnis. Some cloak their traditions in the mystical rites of the Sufis. They join their moulids, or birthday celebrations, for saints and camp at the shri

South Africa’s ruling party is at war with itself

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DEEP in the southern hills of KwaZulu-Natal, mourners came to bury Sindiso Magaqa on September 16th. In July gunmen ambushed Mr Magaqa and two other councillors from the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, as they sat in a car. (Mr Magaqa died in hospital on September 4th.) Three other ANC politicians from the same area were gunned down between April and May. Across the province, there have been at least 40 politically motivated killings since the start of 2016. Most of the violence has occurred within the ANC, which is steeped in corruption at all levels. On September 27th thousands of South Africans marched in protests against the graft and the country’s scandal-plagued president, Jacob Zuma, who heads the party. Nowhere is the rot within the ANC more evident

The difficulty of drafting ultra-Orthodox Jews into Israel’s army

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This one’s tired and needs a rest DURING the violent birth of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, its first prime minister, allowed 400 ultra-Orthodox Jews (also called Haredim) to avoid compulsory military service to pursue a life of Talmudic study. He may have thought they were too few to matter, or that their endangered traditions should be nurtured after the Holocaust. Seven decades on, however, the number of such yeshiva students has exploded to 60,000. They are still allowed to dodge the draft, and many do not work, either. Other Israelis resent this. The clash between those who serve God and those who serve their fellow citizens was on display on the streets of Jerusalem on September 17th. Thousands of ultra-Orthodox protesters had gathered to denounce a decision by Israel’s high court—the

Tax authorities are the latest tools of repression in Africa

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DAYS after she announced her candidacy for president in May, naked photos of Diane Rwigara, a Rwandan political activist, were leaked online. Two months later she was disqualified from the election, held in August, on dubious technical grounds. But she continued to speak out against President Paul Kagame, who has been in charge of Rwanda since 1994. So this month the government tried a new tactic, detaining Ms Rwigara—and her mother and sister—for alleged tax evasion. She has since been charged with “offences against state security”. Ms Rwigara’s experience is hardly unique. These days many governments that want to cow their critics are as likely to use the taxman as the secret police. Such tactics are not confined to Africa. The Russian and Chinese governments often use complicated tax