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Business News of Friday, 15 July 2011

Source: GNA

Vice President commends Coca-Cola's perseverance

Accra, July 15, GNA - Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Friday commended the management of Coca Cola Bottling Company for their willingness to do business in Ghana even in the days of economic crisis.

"Most businesses folded up and relocated to different countries when Ghana went through economic turbulence in the past years, but Coca-Cola preserved and managed to break even," he said. Vice President Mahama was speaking in Accra at the 125th anniversary celebration of the Coca-Cola Company.

Coca-Cola, which was first produced in 1886 in the United States of America, was introduced into the Ghanaian market in 1956 and was one of the of drinks that were served on March 6th, 1957,Ghana's Independence Day.

The company currently employs about 2,000 people directly with over 4,000 others who are engaged indirectly. Coca-Cola is sold in over 200 countries globally.

The Vice President said Ghana was still grappling with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in maternal mortality, water and sanitation and was happy that the management of Coca-Cola was collaborating in that direction to provide potable water to achieve the MDGs.

Vice President Mahama renewed government's commitment to partner the private sector and create an enabling environment that would make businesses flourish in the country.

"We are also happy to acknowledge the contribution of Coca-Cola in the area of HIV/AIDS, agriculture and the provision of treated bed nets to reduce malaria in the country," he added.

Mr Alfonso Libano, Chairman of the Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, said the company was present across the length and breadth of the country through a comprehensive route to market linkage. "This has led to the economic empowerment of over 50,000 trading individuals and groups within the extensive distribution chain," he added.

He said the company had also supported many communities where the company believed it could make a sustainable impact on the lives of the people in the area of education, health, environment and entrepreneurship training.

On economic empowerment, Mr Libano noted that the company had developed 144 micro distribution centres of which 130 were owned and operated by women.

It has also supported Students in Free Enterprise and Junior Achievement to provide entrepreneurship training. In the area of education, he said the company had implemented the Discovery Channel Global Education (GCGE) Programme in 20 schools in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions benefiting teachers and students.

The Programme provided teaching and learning aids to teachers to enable them to incorporate the wide content of the DCGE into classroom lessons.

Mr Libano said the company had built a six-unit classroom block with toilet facilities, water storage and a teachers' meeting room at Abutia-Teti in the Volta Region, while a six-unit classroom block at Guunayili in the Northern Region was under construction. 15 July 11

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