Anheuser-Busch InBev NV agreed to build a $100 million brewery in Tanzania as the world’s biggest beermaker steps up investment on the continent to meet booming demand.
The plans for a facility in Dodoma, the East African nation’s capital, were agreed following a meeting between President John Magufuli and Ricardo Tadeu, AB-InBev’s head of Africa.
The company is also building a brewery in Nigeria, and said earlier this month the continent was among its fastest-growing territories.
At the start of March, the company said that shipments in the region excluding South Africa increased by as much as 20 percent in 2017, putting it among the fastest-growing territories for the world’s biggest brewer.
Premium brands like Stella Artois and Corona are growing in popularity in South Africa, according to regional Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Tadeu.
“We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the continent this past year, most notably $200 million in South Africa,” he said in an interview.
AB InBev cited Africa as a major factor in the decision to buy SABMiller, which has its roots selling beer to miners in 19th century Johannesburg.
Jorge Paulo Lemann, one of AB InBev’s billionaire shareholders, said last year that the continent’s rapid urbanisation and warm climate could eventually see it overtake the U.S. in beer sales.
Rival companies agree, and Heineken NV has hired hundreds of sales staff and invested in growing markets such as Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Rwanda since the SABMiller deal.