Renowned American civil rights activist, Baptist minister and politician Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson yesterday commended BRALIRWA’s business practices that are aligned to international good business practices during his courtesy visit to the Coca-Cola bottler’s soft drinks factory in Kicukiro district, Kigali this June during his visit to Rwanda.
“I am impressed by Coca-Cola’s investment and development in Africa. Coca-Cola is the largest employer in all of Africa, from South Africa to Egypt. And it goes beyond the beverage industry to impact many more other sectors. For instance, because of the Coca-Cola plants, sugarcane farmers on the continent have a market to sell their products because the sugar produced has a market,” he said after the tour of the factory.
Jackson together with his son and daughter arrived in Kigali in the second week of June accompanying AhmetMuhtarKent, the Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, to the launch a solar-powered flagship EKOCENTER site in Rwanda, which stands to benefit up to 25,000 residents of Ruhunda Cell, Gishari Sector in Rwamagana district—with access to facilities such as an upgraded and equipped health centre, 3G WiFi-enabled internet, a purified water collection centre, mobile charging services, a retail store, and a fully lit football pitch.
Among other good practices, Rev. Jackson noted that BRALIRWA’s water treatment plant at the factory which is crucial to the supply of portable water in Kigali given that many Africans die every day due to lack of safe drinking water and the many diseases that arise as a result of its lack.
“Because of Coca-cola a lot of development takes place so there is more to the coke than just the taste and the refreshment.All corporations need to learn from and sustain this model,” he noted.
Ecstatic about the visit, BRALIRWA Managing Director Jonathan Hall told Hope Magazine that it was an enormously special occasion and a great honour to have Reverend Jackson at the factory.
“For him to have the time to come here on very short notice and spend a couple of hours with us is fantastic,” Hall said.
“He has a special relationship with Coca-Cola particularly in Africa and the United States and the points he made about clean water in Africa and gender balance among our staff were absolutely right,” Hall added.
And true to the Reverend’s complements, BRALIRWA according to Hall has made efforts to deal with the acute lack of access to safe drinking water and gender balance at the workplace among others.
Reverend Jackson also took time to pay homage to former BRALIRWA staff killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsiand in whose memory a monument has been erected at the Kigali based soft drinks plant.
“Rwanda has come from the dark night of the Genocide”, Rev. Jackson said, noting that the whole world cried out to stop the genocide, but the intervention came too late.
“The world should have been more mindful of what was about to happen and what happened. So there is some burden on the world to help revive Rwanda and the civil society,” he said.
“We are seeing Rwanda now, stable, growing and attracting investments, and that is exactly what happens when the country is stable; it continues to make strides in all possible ways.”
BRALIRWA Ltd is a Rwandan company producing and selling beers and soft drinks. The Company’s beer portfolio includes Primus, Mützig, Guinness, Amstel and Turbo King produced in our Gisenyi brewery and Heineken beer which is imported. We produce Primus beer, our main brand since 1959 and our soft drinks plant started operating in 1974 in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company. We produce Coca-Cola brands; Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange and Fanta Citron, Fanta Fiesta, Sprite, Krest Tonic and own brand Vital’ O.
The company was founded in 1957 with the construction of a brewery in Gisenyi, located at Lake Kivu. Since 1971, BRALIRWA Ltd is part of the internationally renowned Group Heineken which holds 75% of BRALIRWA Ltd shares while the 25% remaining shares are hold by independent shareholders. As a socially responsible company BRALIRWA Ltd supports a variety of projects from Education to Health and Environment.