A pilot EKOCENTER kiosk is in use in Heidelberg, South Africa. 

Coca-Cola Co. chose this week’s U.S.-African Leaders Summit to announce that the company and the Coke system would up their planned investment on the continent by $5 billion, adding to $12 billion it pledged in 2010 to invest by 2020. 

Some 50 African heads of state gathered in Washington Aug. 5-6, where officials announced a raft of commercial deals totaling more than $30 billion. 

But the Atlanta-based  beverage giant also announced social initiatives that integrate with its business plans.

The company signed a letter of intent to launch Source Africa, a partnership with the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and Grow Africa to improve local sourcing of ingredients, starting with citrus, mango and pineapple in Kenya, mango and pineapple in Nigeria and mango in Malawi. 

Coke CEO Muhtar Kent announced that the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation would expand its Replenish Africa Initative, or RAIN, to provide clean water to additional 4 million people by 2020, tripling the initial goal of 2 million. 

“In Africa, we believe we can do more to source agricultural ingredients locally, with significant supply potential that’s underdeveloped and underutilized,” Mr. Kent said in a release. “Tapping this potential could accelerate the growth of our business and Africa’s emerging economies, making our supply chains more cost effective and enabling sub-Saharan Africa to supply more ingredients to growing markets in Africa and beyond.”

The company also has projects to use its extensive supply chain to deliver medicine in remote parts of Africa, boost female entrepreneurship and create community markets using rural kiosks called EKOCENTERs. 

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...