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Samba Bathily
Founder, ADS Group
Samba Bathily, Founder, ADS Group

Samba Bathily, Founder, ADS Group

« We want to be involved in strategic sectors. The founding objective of the Group was to support sectors that were vital for the African economy such as water, electricity, transport and construction, etc… However today, our definition of the term “strategic” has evolved and is a little different as we are also looking to create new opportunities in education, telecommunications and finance that can give us a unique competitive edge in the global economy ».

Samba Bathily is a Mali born, global African entrepreneur and pioneer in sustainable clean energy and solar solutions. He is Founder of Africa Development Solutions (ADS), Co-Founder and CEO of Solektra International, the company driving the Akon Lighting Africa initiative. Recognised as one the leaders in driving growth in Africa, Samba is one of the key enablers for setting up sustainable development ventures.  With a global network and acute business acumen, he has a particular “forte” in establishing strategic and innovative financial structuring. This has led to partnerships and growth models between private and public entities as well as local and international financial institutions and banks.

To provide a formal framework for private and public partnerships, Samba launched the ADS Group in 2004 drawing in companies such as Huawei and Samsung. Under this umbrella there is a dynamic group active in the sectors of project finance; renewables and access to water; media, new technologies and communications; infrastructures, construction, resorts and real estate; vocational training and youth employment; retail industries and  franchising; automobile and logistics. They are bringing together 18 subsidiaries and joint ventures operating in a total of 15 African countries.

The ADS Group is built on Samba Bathily’s rich experience, acquired early in his career in the import-export sector, project finance and new technologies. Whether while he was working with AZLAN and CISCO to expanding the bandwidth for the 2002 World Cup in Mali, or when he was developing new schemes of access to medicines with company Trends Guinea, Samba has developed a detailed understanding of B2B and B2G business, enabling him today to offer very innovative public partnerships through the ADS Group.

More recently in 2014, Samba co-founded Solektra International, with international music star Akon and youth leader Thione Niang. Solektra International has launched Akon Lighting Africa, an initiative that promotes awareness and usage of innovative solar solutions to provide villages throughout Africa with access to clean electricity. To date, results include solar developments such as the installation of street lamps, and domestic and community kits in 15 countries throughout Africa.

Samba is founder and President of the non-profit “Fondation Volontaires d’Afrique” which aims to develop youth employment in Africa by helping young people through scholarships to launch their projects and become entrepreneurs.