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Dashen Brewery inaugurates advanced brewing plant in Africa

Dashen Brewery, which is co-owned by Vasari Global (Vasari), UK-based asset management firm Duet Group (Duet), and the TIRET Group (TIRET), an Ethiopian endowment fund,on Sunday inaugurated the largest brewery plant in Ethiopia with a total production capacity of 2 million hectoliters of beer per annum.

It is said that the new brewery plant at Debre Birhan, Ethiopia, marks the tripling of Dashen Brewery’s capacity since 2012 to meet demand in Africa’s fastest growing consumer market.

“Vasari, Africa-focused multinational consumer goods company marked the latest milestone for their beer business Dashen by inaugurating a flagship brewery at Debre Birhan, close to the booming Ethiopian capital city Addis Ababa. The plant, which is one of a handful of its kind in the world, represents major advantages in terms of consistent quality and efficiency, lowering operating costs and minimising environmental impact through energy and water conservation,” the company said.

Vivian Imerman, CEO of Vasari Global, remarked: “Vasari invests in high growth consumer markets in Africa, bringing in world class technology, global branding expertise and experienced management teams to transform the most promising local businesses into highly competitive regional players. Following our initial investment in 2012, I’m delighted that we are deepening our commitment to Dashen today by introducing state-of-the-art continuous brewing techniques and expanding employment opportunities in Debre Birhan. We have brought the most advanced brewery in Africa – and one of the most advanced in the world – to Ethiopia. This is a clear sign of our confidence in Ethiopia and it complements our growing portfolio in the country, which includes spirits business Super Eagle and biscuits and pasta factory Ahadukes.”

Dashen is one of the largest brewing companies in Ethiopia. This new facility will have a production capacity of 2 million hectolitres, with scope for further expansion. In combination with Dashen’s existing brewery in Gonder, this means that Dashen’s beer production in Ethiopia will have tripled since the landmark investment in 2012.

The new production capacity will meet the growing demand for Dashen beer, allowing consumers from all over Ethiopia – and potentially beyond – to enjoy the product consistently. The recipe and taste of the beer will not change.

The new facility has benefitted greatly from the commitment of the Ethiopian government to local economic growth. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, said in his remarks at the inauguration: “This achievement by Vasari, Duet and TIRET indicates that UK businesses can successfully engage in joint venture undertakings with Ethiopian businesses in Ethiopia.”

Debre Birhan was designated for economic development under the government’s Growth and Transformation Plan, and is now emerging as a major industrial town in its own right. A high quality new road that the government has recently built to connect the town to the capital will significantly improve the route to market for Dashen.

With a population of 95 million, Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country with one of the fastest rates of urbanisation in the world. This and some of the highest economic growth levels in the world have created a consumer goods revolution. The FMCG market is growing by US$ 1 billion annually, with further momentum forecast over the next five years. Stable government and an enabling policy environment are other factors making it a highly attractive destination for experienced Africa-focused FMCG investors such as Vasari.

The new brewery is located 100km north east of Addis Ababa, giving Dashen direct access to consumers in the most densely populated area of Ethiopia, and easier access to other areas of the country. The population of Addis itself, which is now estimated conservatively at 3.2 million, is forecast to grow by more than 60% by 2025.

The new brewery will create several hundred new jobs in the area, as well as indirect employment through its supply chain, which includes local farmers. The new facility is also designed with potential for expansion on site. Dashen will continue its commitment to community programmes, which includes a partnership with London’s Arsenal FC to give talented local players exposure to world class coaching, as well as support for schools, hospitals, the young and the old.

Devlin Hainsworth, CEO of Dashen Breweries, commented: “Hot on the heels of our historic partnership with Arsenal FC, we are excited to bring Ethiopians another major first – Ethiopia is now home to the most advanced brewery in Africa. Our consumers have been asking us to ensure they can enjoy Dashen wherever and whenever they choose. I’m delighted to say that we’ve listened and from today, we can deliver.”