Ethiopia hit by Coca-Cola drought – Elizabeth Blunt (BBC)

March 24th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has run out of Coca-Cola as the credit crunch takes the fizz out of the economy. (more…)

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has run out of Coca-Cola as the credit crunch takes the fizz out of the economy.

The BBC’s Elizabeth Blunt in the city says she has known African countries to run out of petrol, soap, sugar, batteries or tyres – but never Coke.

The East Africa Bottling Share Company, which produces the soft drink in the region, last week temporarily shut its bottling operation in Ethiopia.

It said they had the Coca-Cola – but did not have the bottle tops.

The firm, which has sent 1,000 workers on compulsory leave, said in its most recent statement that the Ethiopian government had intervened.

The company promised the familiar bottles would start rolling out of the plant again soon.

National emergency?

Our correspondent says it sounds almost as if the Coca-Cola shortage is being treated as a national emergency.

When she visited a local bar she found it had run out of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite and Fanta. Mirinda was the only soft drink on offer.

It has been estimated that around 35,000 outlets throughout Ethiopia will be unable to serve Coca-Cola and sister brands until the shortage is resolved.

Street children have reportedly been collecting the much-needed bottle tops from the streets of Addis Ababa and selling them back to companies to recycle for around $0.2 (£0.13) a kilogram.

Coca-Cola is normally on sale even in some of the most remote parts of Ethiopia and other African countries.

The continent has been largely spared the worst of the global banking crisis, but it is becoming obvious there are problems finding enough foreign exchange to keep Ethiopia’s economy running, says our correspondent.

  1. robel
    | #1

    ha ha ha ha h
    wondata woyanie
    this is really the sign of so call progress

  2. fitsum
    | #2

    Ohhhhhhhhhh, why surprised by the coke shut down, well we have this crime minister to shut down the throttle of all Ethiopian’s very soon. He landlocked the country, he devided the people, he distroyed or burned villages in Ogaden, what else!

    We should congradulate the crime minister and his dormant law makers, who even can’t have the right to know the # of casualties in the war with Somali.

    May God of heaven close his throttle.

  3. yikerbelen
    | #3

    Elizabeth blunt, I have been following your report since you arrived in addis ababa.It is really very sad and shame when the british soil produced a person like you. When journalists like you sell their conscince for their personal prosperity, journalism becomes like a commudity which doesn’t have any value in side. When ethiopia and it’s children are under adolf Hitler’s son [melese zenawi] repression, you are talking about coco cola drought.Do you know the meaning of TPLF? TPLF= DROUGHT by it’s self.so please for God’s sake ,it is the right time to stand by the people in support of justice and democracy otherwise you will be kicked out of ethiopia after your hidden boss melese and gangisters will go to qality.

  4. yikerbelen
    | #4

    these people know only how to beg. leadership qaulity= zero. ability of leadership=zero,only begging, stealing , cheating ,killing and giving of land who ever needs. what backward and shameless ppl

  5. Tiblets
    | #5

    BAKELA KERE BILU F.. KELELE!

  6. Genet
    | #6

    I don’t think that not drinking a Coke will be the end of the world.
    Coke is the emblem of American imperialism.

  7. Danuel
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