AMSTERDAM— Heineken HEINY +1.93% NV will next month open a new brewery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in what is the Dutch brewer’s latest push to expand in Africa, one of the world’s fastest-growing beer markets.
The brewery in Kilinto, on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, will be Heineken’s third plant in the East African country and will have an annual capacity of 1.5 million hectoliters.
The facility, which will produce local brands such as Bedele and Harar and possibly Heineken’s premium lager beer in the future, is meant to bolster the brewer’s footprint in the Ethiopian capital, said Siep Hiemstra, the president of Heineken’s operations in Africa and the Middle East, in an interview.
“We couldn’t serve the Addis Ababa region from our existing two breweries,” he said. “So this will strengthen our position in the country.”
Heineken’s expansion in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, highlights the growing importance of the continent for the world’s top brewers.
Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing beer markets thanks to its rosy economic prospects and emerging middle class. This has made the region a battleground for global brewers like Heineken, SABMiller SAB.LN +4.02% PLC and Diageo DGE.LN +2.21% PLC, as they seek to counter a slowdown in mature markets in Europe and North America.
“Competition is intensifying and that sharpens the game,” Mr. Hiemstra said, referring to Heineken’s main competitors.