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The Story of How the World’s Most Famous Carbonated Drink Conquered the Continent 

A new book called Bottled: How Coca-Cola Became African tells the tale of marketing gumption and high politics and is the product of years of research by critical writing lecturer Sara Byala, who researches histories of heritage, sustainability and the ways in which capitalist systems intersect with social and cultural forces in Africa. Coca-Cola doesn’t export a finished product from its corporate headquarters in the US. It sells a concentrate, which comes from a handful of locations around the globe, including Egypt and Eswatini. This concentrate is sold to licensed bottlers who then mix it with local forms of sugar and water before carbonating and bottling or canning it. Coca-Cola lore says that the company first secured local bottlers for its concentrate in South Africa in 1928, its first stop on the African continent.