In its annual State of Partnerships Report, the U.S. Department of State has recognized the impact of two community initiatives in the Middle East and Africa, which are both made possible through close public-private collaboration between the Department and the Coca-Cola system.
The report profiles efforts across 17 international programs that each contribute to a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The Coca-Cola partnerships featured are WASH for Health in Ghana, which brings clean water and sanitation to local communities (SDG goal No. 6), and the MENA Scholarship Program/Global Business Institute entrepreneurship initiative that promotes decent work and economic growth (SDG goal No. 8).
Having first began in 2009 and 2012 respectively, the Ghana and MENA community programs both are established and highlight the long-term sustainable benefits of combining the strengths and unique expertise across the Golden Triangle of private sector, government and civil society.
As Thomas Debass, Deputy Special Representative for Global Partnerships wrote in his foreword, “When governments engage in cross-sectoral collaboration with nongovernmental partners, we leverage each other’s unique individual resources, expertise and experiences, better enabling us to create innovative solutions for the challenges impacting business, government and society.”
The Ghana Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project began as a four-year initiative to improve access to potable water and sanitation facilities and to promote hygiene. The project is engaged in more than 160 communities in five regions in Ghana and includes two programs, one of which The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation supports in partnership with USAID. The program has installed water treatment facilities to improve access to safe water and constructed two bio-gas latrine facilities, five ventilated improved pit latrines, 233 household latrines and more than 20 hand-washing stations.
The MENA Scholarship Program, meanwhile, is a partnership between The Coca-Cola Company, the U.S. Department of State and Indiana University to encourage entrepreneurship and business innovation among young people in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. Now entering its sixth year, the partners have together sponsored a scholarship program at Indiana University for almost 500 young entrepreneurs from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan to enable them about business and build key skills necessary for business development and entrepreneurship. The program includes a day visiting Department of State in Washington, D.C. and culminates in a visit to The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters in Atlanta.
Additionally, The Coca-Cola Company's Twitter handle (@CocaColaCo) recently won a five-day Twitter challenge during Global Partnerships Week. Organized by the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships U.S. Department of State, the friendly competition challenged corporate, government and civil society leaders to post one tweet a day, highlighting their work to meet a particular SDG. Coke showcased its 5by20 women's empowerment program, the work and impact of The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coletivo program in Brazil, and efforts to provide safe water access in Latin America.