Coca-Cola and Partners Create New Model for Social and Economic Development with Opening of Flagship EKOCENTER™ Site in Rwanda

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coca-Cola Company joined with Ericsson
(NASDAQ:ERIC), Medshare,
(NYSE:PNR), Philips
(NYSE:PHE), Solarkiosk
and TIGO
(OTC:MIICF) earlier this week to officially open a flagship
EKOCENTER site in Ruhunda, Rwanda. The solar-powered site stands to
benefit up to 25,000 local residents with access to services that have
not been readily available, including wi-fi-enabled internet access,
mobile charging services, a retail store, the only fully lit football
field outside Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, improved medical services and
purified water.

Speaking at the opening, Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola
Company, said: “We launched EKOCENTER because we know that our growth
and our partners’ growth can only be sustainable when the communities we
serve are strong. By working across the ‘golden triangle’ of business,
government and civil society, we believe we can support increased local
investment and help make communities like Ruhunda more economically and
socially sustainable.”

Launched by Coca-Cola in 2013 as a social enterprise initiative to
empower communities while enabling business and local economic growth,
EKOCENTER relies on partnerships across the public and private sector to
operate sustainably.

In Ruhunda, Ericsson helped construct a new mobile phone tower to
provide connectivity while TIGO is providing 3G coverage for internet
access; Medshare provides medicines to the government-run health center;
Pentair operates two water purification units providing up to 20,000
liters of safe drinking water daily using a combination of technologies,
including reverse osmosis; Philips powers lighting for the new football
field and surrounding areas, including the health center; Solarkiosk
designed and operates the new EKOCENTER, which is run by a woman
entrepreneur and acts as a local retail store where solar solutions,
basic necessities and Coca-Cola products are sold.

Randall Hogan, Chairman and CEO of Pentair, EKOCENTER’s water
purification technology partner, said at the launch: “We share
Coca-Cola’s vision of creating sustainable economic models to ensure we
have lasting impact. In this model everyone plays to their strengths,
and together we can do much more than alone. Our engineers worked
together with Coca-Cola’s engineers to design an innovative, durable
safe water solution that is easy to operate on minimal energy in remote

Typically run by female entrepreneurs selling products and services,
EKOCENTERs are solar-powered and self-contained, acting as both a
community center and general store. EKOCENTERs are modular by design to
allow local communities to customize a site to their needs. In some
locations where drinking water access is limited, safe drinking water is
a key EKOCENTER offering. In other locations, services such as mobile
phone charging and internet access may also be provided.

Andreas Spiess, CEO of Solarkiosk, operating partner for EKOCENTER in
Rwanda and four other African countries, said: “Africa is blessed with
abundant sunshine and solar-powered energy solutions provide vast
opportunities for the continent. We’re excited about the many natural
synergies between our vision and Coca-Cola’s EKOCENTER to enable and
empower communities.”

With the opening of the Ruhunda site, Coca-Cola and its partners have
now opened more than 100 EKOCENTERs in seven countries. By the end of
this year, the company plans to open at least 177 EKOCENTERs in 10
countries serving a population of approximately 1 million people.

More information on EKOCENTER is available at

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage
company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still
brands and more than 3,800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of
the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our company’s
portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, 18 of which are available
in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. Our billion-dollar brands
include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater,
Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through
the world’s largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1
provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion
servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200
countries each day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable
communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our
environmental footprint, create a safe, inclusive work environment for
our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities
where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the
world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system
associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at,
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visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at
or find us on LinkedIn at


The Coca-Cola Company
Sebastian van der Vegt
T +01 404-676-2683