Melotti |Italian-Eritrean entrepreneur
Asmara, 15 January (Askanews) – Beer Asmara, still known as beer Melotti, is the historical relations between Italy and Eritrea and has always been synonymous with quality. To this Solomon Mebrahtu, entrepreneur Italo-Eritrean based in Ancona, decided two years ago to start the import in Italy of beer born in 1941 in the Eritrean capital on the initiative of Louis Melotti. Today the company Asmara Brewery is 84% owned by the Eritrean government and the remaining 16% of individuals or companies from Eritrea, but “kept the size of the bottle and the cap, in memory of the origin of the product” .
“The idea of importing the beer was born three years ago, because there was interest from the Diaspora, and since last year are the sole importer of beer as well as anise Asmara – told Solomon to askanews – the market is especially in Milan, where you will find the main restaurants and bars open to young Eritreans. The idea was to bring in Italy something that was both Italian and Eritrean. I liked that the product came into Italy, because Eritrea is very culturally tied to Italy. ” As a businessman who promotes the Italian in African countries, Solomon would emphasize even like beer Melotti has always been synonymous with quality: “When Eritrea was still under Ethiopian occupation, there was also beer brewed from Ethiopia, but he preferred beer Melotti, because you know that the morning after drinking four or five beers you had a headache. “
The initiative of Solomon in Italy, as well as other entrepreneurs in countries where there is a strong presence in the Diaspora, such as America, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, England, Israel and South Sudan, also exemplifies the company’s desire to strengthen the ‘ and exports in the world, not only to meet the market demand, but also to secure the foreign currency (dollar) needed to buy the raw materials. “We import the malt and we need to buy currency,” he said to askanews general manager of Asmara Brewery, Yohannes Habte, met at the end of a visit to the factory in Asmara, expanded and modernized, but remained practically intact than that the years of management Melotti.
Today the company produces 320 to 325,000 bottles of beer a day, but also 10,000 bottles of liquor (Anise, Cognac, Fernet and Gin), and employs about 480 employees, whose salaries range from a minimum to a maximum of 1,600 nafka 7,500. Eritrea is the average salary of 1,000-1,500 nafka. Asked if employees are people under military service, Yohannes said, “The military service does not concern us because we are a company that share contrattualizza their employees, who pay the full salary while the company works to 60-70 % of their capacity. ” The company not only has to deal with the shortage of foreign currency, in fact, but also with the lack of electricity and water, which prevents the plant operates at full capacity. However, in the face of these difficulties, the company decided to dig three wells, to make up for the shortcomings of the aqueduct citizen, to buy another generator and to support the local production of malt, now accounting for 15% of requirements, to restrict imports.
“We try to keep this company alive,” Yohannes stressed, recalling that his father worked there for 36 years and that he had the opportunity to meet at the front, during the thirty-year war of liberation against Ethiopia, Emma Melotti who had carried out the company of her husband: “At the front we had so many factories there and met Mrs. Melotti, who recognized me, and gave me information about my family.”