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Diageo is set to give its Guinness beer brand an updated look and fresh marketing push in Africa, as the company looks to boosts its beer bedrock in the continent.

The drinks giant announced its plans to update the packaging and revamp the communications for Guinness in Africa at a media roundtable in London yesterday (14 October). The roll-out of new-look bottles – highlighting the brand's premium positioning and price-point - and improved communications will hit Diageo's African markets over the next six months, starting in Nigeria in two weeks.

At the same time, both in-outlet communication and broadcast marketing for Guinness will benefit from a bigger push.

Financial details behind the move were not disclosed.

“We need to hold Guinness in Africa to the same standards as it is held everywhere else in the world,” Diageo's Africa president Andy Fennell told journalists yesterday. “We have high hopes that the relaunch will help Guinness to deliver the market share improvements that are possible.”

“Whilst we'll source disproportionate future growth from spirits as they grow the share of our business, spirits require a healthy beer platform and Guinness is at the heart of that platform.”

The Guinness brand, which sells mostly in bottles in Africa, accounts for around 45% of Diageo's total beer volumes in the continent. The main markets for Guinness in the region are Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Cameroon, having launched in the continent in 1862.

Nigeria overtook Ireland as the largest market for the beer brand in the 12 months to the end of June 2012.