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Annabel Van Orshoven - Participant 2014-2016

“I learned to take ownership of my decisions and take the consequences if things go wrong.”


Annabel Van Orshoven was tasked with setting up the first international expansion project of Barajii Group, a subsidiary of Durabilis.


After training in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Annabel moved to Lomé (Togo) to launch a new subsidiary. Starting from scratch, she assembled a new local team including a commercial director, commercial agents, an accountant and production operators. Once the organization was in place, she launched production and sales. “My role was to manage the commercial department, to identify processes and procedures, and to manage human resources.”

Next to this, she was responsible for the different franchising projects in Senegal, Niger and Cameroon. The goal was to find local partners with operations in the beverage industry, who would be willing to collaborate with Barajii Group to produce and distribute flavoured waters and natural juices under the Barajii brand.

How she benefited

Annabel learned to take up a leadership position in various ways during her Prince Albert Fund experience in West Africa: personal leadership as she was responsible for developing a franchising strategy; leadership of others as she had to implement this strategy with a partner in Senegal and manage the project from A to Z. She also managed the commercial department, HR and the internal organization, when launching a new subsidiary in Lomé.

Besides this, she really loved “being able to have a significant impact, on the organization as well as on my colleagues, employees and the environment during my year abroad. Durabilis’s vision is to be an ‘impact investing company’ and I was proud to be part of this.”

The company – Durabilis, Barajii Group

Durabilis is an international impact investing company that links people to formal economies by investing in and managing sustainable agro- and food businesses in low income countries. The Barajii Group business unit, which is headquartered in Burkina Faso, supplies healthy, affordable and high quality beverages for the “base of the pyramid” market.

“Annabel made a difference in multiple domains: she started up the new subsidiary in Lomé, developed a franchising strategy and a brand manual… I believe that Annabel’s year within Barajii Group has been fruitful for both the group as well as for her professional development.”

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