The Somaliland Sun reports that the Government of Somaliland has informed the visiting head of the new United Nations Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) that Somaliland will not host a UNSOM office. Somaliland wishes to continue hosting and receiving aid through various individual UN agencies and organizations but considers the overall UNSOM mission in support of the Federal Government of Somalia incompatible with Somaliland’s independent status.
In the meantime, the questions of governance for Kismayo and the “Jubaland” region remain an immediate challenge as does the unsettled Somaliland-Puntland border. Somaliland has indicated a desire to strengthen relations with Kenya, which shares a common interest in some degree of regional autonomy for Jubaland on the Kenyan border.
Two international soft drinks manufacturing companies have set up local operations in a major shift tipped to shake up the industry currently in the tight grip of global giant Coca-Cola.
US multinational Pepsi Cola, and London based SABMiller are in the process of establishing a manufacturing presence in Nairobi even as market data points to a flattening market for soft drinks.
PepsiCo, which stopped bottling in Kenya under competitive pressure from Coca-Cola in the 1970s, is putting up a Sh2.4 billion plant off Thika and Baba Dogo roads while SABMiller has taken control of family owned Crown Foods, the bottlers of Keringet brand of drinking water.
PepsiCo has acquired 14 acres of land at Nairobi’s Ruaraka estate through SBC Kenya Ltd, a Franchise Bottler and Distributor of Pepsi products it bought in 2009, from where it will produce at least six of its brands.
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PepsiCo made a marketing re-entry into Kenya late last year relying on imports to serve the local market with its brands such as Pepsi Cola, Pepsi Diet, Mirinda, Evervess Soda Water and Seven Up. Importing the soft drinks is more expensive than having a local production unit.
“We have already recruited 120 Kenyans — engineers, architects and technicians — to handle the development phase. We expect to have about 300 employers on board once it is completed,” said Mr Moldenhauer.
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The soft drinks market is estimated at about 17 million litres annually and PepsiCo is upbeat that the sector has great potential for growth after shrugging off a heavy battering from the global economic crisis, high power costs and water rationing in most of 2009.