Coca-Cola and partners to expand Project Last Mile in Africa
The Coca-Cola Company and its Foundations, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are expanding its “Project Last Mile” to include 10 African countries over the next five years.
The public-private partnership - currently focused on Tanzania and Ghana - applies Coca-Cola’s logistic, supply chain, distribution and marketing expertise to help African governments maximize the ability to get critical medicines and medical supplies the “last mile” to those who need it most in remote communities in Africa.
The commitment to expand includes an investment of more than $21m from the partners, as well as the official addition of USAID to the coalition. The next country where Project Last Mile is being implemented is Mozambique. The additional seven countries are in various stages of identification and discussion with local governments.
“We know our business can only be as strong as the communities we serve... Project Last Mile has been a great and growing success so far, and we look forward to working with our partners to improve lives across more communities and more countries,” commented Muhtar Kent, chairman and ceo of The Coca-Cola Company.
Cosmas Mwaifwani, the director general of the Medical Stores Department in Tanzania added: “Since we began working with our partners in 2010, we have been able to increase the availability of medicines in medical clinics by 20-30% in some places where we have implemented the direct distribution model. Additionally, the partners have shared distribution tools with us to enable us to efficiently reach more than 5,500 health facilities.”