Heineken in Africa

A Multinational Unleashed

Olivier van Beemen

‘Precisely and rigorously ticks off Heineken’s excesses and tribulations in Africa.’ — Le Monde

Bibliographic Details
Heineken in Africa Hardback
February 2019£20.00

Request Press Review Copy
Request Inspection Copy

For Heineken, ‘rising Africa’ is already a reality: the profits it extracts there are almost 50 per cent above the global average, and beer costs more in some African countries than it does in Europe. Heineken claims its presence boosts economic development on the continent. But is this true?

Investigative journalist Olivier van Beemen has spent years seeking the answer, and his conclusion is damning: Heineken has hardly benefited Africa at all. On the contrary, there are some shocking skeletons in its African closet: tax avoidance, sexual abuse, links to genocide and other human rights violations, high-level corruption, crushing competition from indigenous brewers, and collaboration with dictators and pitiless anti-government rebels.

Heineken in Africa caused a political and media furore on publication in The Netherlands, and was debated in their Parliament. It is an unmissable exposé of the havoc wreaked by a global giant seeking profit in the developing world.


Olivier van Beemen is a Dutch investigative journalist specialising in Africa. This is his first book.


‘[This] critical account of the brewer goes to the heart of doing business in challenging markets . . . [a] provocative book.’ — The Financial Times

‘A complex tale of a company operating in a country defined by perpetual conflict and warlordism . . . this book it is an important window into how careless corporate behaviour can impede Africa’s development.’ — African Business

‘The unauthorised story of a beer giant’s African saga. … Van Beemen precisely and rigorously ticks off Heineken’s excesses and tribulations in Africa. … For a long time Heineken’s management refused to meet the journalist, before changing their minds and giving him interviews almost two years after the book first appeared, which offer a valuable counterpoint and make this remarkable survey all the more balanced.’ — Le Monde