Diageo's CEO Menezes sees Africa rising to 20% of sales after investing over $1B in the continent over the past five years

Ivan Menezes, chief executive officer of Diageo Plc, poses for a photograph beside beer crates during a visit to the Meta Abo brewery, operated by Diageo Plc, in Sebeta, Ethiopia, on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Diageo Plc, the maker of Guinness beer and Johnnie Walker whisky, wants Africa to account for 20 percent of its sales after investing more than $1 billion in the continent over the last five years, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes said.

The ambition to make the African operation “one of the pillars of the next decade” and boost takings from the current share of 13 percent will play out in growing nations such as Ethiopia, Menezes said at the opening of an expanded brewery in Africa’s second-most populous country. He declined to say when he expected to reach the goal.

“Africa is hugely important for Diageo and Ethiopia is going to be one of the cornerstone markets for us in the future,” the CEO said in a Feb. 25 interview with Bloomberg Africa Television at the Meta Abo brewery in Sebeta. “I see Africa growing faster than the Diageo average both in beer and in spirits, and the two go hand in hand.”

Read more: Diageo’s CEO Menezes Sees Africa Rising to 20% of Sales – Bloomberg Business.