The Bedele and Harar breweries have been bought from the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for US$85m and US$78m.
A spokesperson for the company told BeverageDaily.com the annual per capita beer consumption in the region was currently low at four litres and was expected to grow due to factors such as urbanisation, growing personal incomes and brand conscious consumers.
“We are delighted to have acquired these two breweries which give us a sustainable footprint in one of Africa’s most exciting beer markets,” said Siep Hiemstra, regional president Africa and the Middle East for Heineken.
“The transactions reflect Heineken’s strategy of increasing our exposure to and growth from developing markets.”
Reducing water use
The firm said it will also look for ways to use less water in the brewing process by building water treatment plants at the sites.
In addition, Heineken said it will introduce practices to ensure that water returned to the eco-system is clean so local users are not prevented from gaining access to clean water.
The spokesperson claimed that Heineken has a good track record of improving farmers’ yields and competing against imported grains.
He said the firm aims to source 60 per cent of raw materials locally which he said will provide wealth to the country, help with agro-education/seed improvement and to also develop alternative crops, such as Sorghum.
The firm also aims to focus on training and development, health care and the development of leadership talent, he said.