Aissata Diakite, a 28 years old Malian launched an all-natural health startup in December 2017. Zabbaan juices are blended with traditional flavor with many details in them. The juices are made from scarlet hibiscus petals and green leaves from the West African kinkeliba shrub. The liquid was also added to it with baobab fruits and a pinch of ginger.
The founder of the startup comes from Mopti central Mali. Mopti is a region in central Mali where Niger River flows. The founder wanted to have juice with a range of whole natural fruit juices. The idea was to make use of the locally available products from African Savanna. Diakite realized the idea while studying agribusiness in France.
During her holidays he used to go back to Mali. She used to drive through agricultural areas in rural to meet with farmers. This was to make her understand seasons and how to manage the off-season. After that, she launched her Zabbaan juices in December 2017. This came after she had met with possible buyers at the Invest in Mali forum.
Zabbaan is a name derived from zaban tree pronounced as saba in Senegalese. It is a shrub-like tree originated from Sahel region. The tree grows on riverbanks and in woodlands. Its fruits and leaves are expensive to get. It was hard to attend the forum given the current security condition of Mali. The transport infrastructure is also not favorable to many. Military patrols are so common in Diakite’s home region. That makes traveling much harder.
Investors offered $63 million for funding any upcoming businesses. Be it solar energy, packaging or cement business. Many jobs and wealth are also created by producing what people can consume. This is according to Industrial Development Minister Mohamed Aly Ag Ibrahim. Mali had ten juices that use the same raw materials as Zabbaan juices. The juices have been in the sections of West Africa for 400 years.
Diakite’s grandmother is the one who told her stories about Mali. She explained to her how Mali used to be at the time when it was known as the world’s center of learning. She currently works with farmers who supply’s her with the required raw materials.