chairman of the Board

Samba Bathily

Born in Mali, Samba Bathily is a world-renowned African entrepreneur who pioneered the financial structuring of major infrastructure projects. To date, Samba Bathily has structured a project portfolio worth more than $ 5 billion in many strategic areas: optic fiber, renewables, hydraulic dams, identification, data centers. Thanks to his global network, he excels at establishing innovative financial strategies involving private and public entities, local and international financial institutions, funds and banks. He is now recognized as one of those leaders whose contribution is critical to transform the African continent as a global growth driver.

In order to better structure his various businesses, Samba launched the ADS Group in 2004; under this umbrella there is a dynamic group active in the sectors of project-financing and consulting; technologies and media; industrial development; renewables and access to water; distribution and franchising; infrastructures, real estate, hotels and construction; automobile and logistics.

One of ADS Group’s most famous ventures is Solektra International, which has launched an initiative, Akon Lighting Africa, that promotes awareness and usage of innovative solar solutions; to date more than 1775 localities have been positively impacted across the continent and a solar academy has been founded in Bamako, Mali; Solektra is one of the founding members of the GASCA Alliance, created by 20Regions for Climate Action to deploy smart cities and villages across Africa and officially launched as part of the Africa Pledge of the One Planet Summit Africa in Nairobi on 14 march 2019.

ADS is also the mother-company of Multi Industries Group, which leverages solar solutions to manufacture electricity equipment, mobility solutions and computers in the new smart economic hub of Diamniadio, Senegal. Other famous ventures include IT expert companies such as Africa Digital Solutions which aggregate digital solutions and products to offer tailored support to African Governments, Institutions and the Private sector. The group is currently working on delivering the western African digital pool, a game-changing project aimed to deploy interconnectivity in 7 western African countries as part of efforts to achieve the single African Digital Market designed by Smart Africa

As part of his commitment to Africa’s development, Samba Bathily is one of the co-founders and advisors to the AfroChampions Initiative, an innovative platform promoting intra-African trade as a means to accelerate Africa’s growth. He has also set up financing and business advisory vehicles like Emergence Capital to support African entrepreneurs and start-ups and is actively contributing to promoting African startup talents, with projects like MyAfricanStartup.

In 2019, Samba Bathily has also launched some initiatives to develop Africa’s leisure and creative industries, which have a strategic potential for the continent. Key projects in the sports sector include for instance the partnership between NBA Africa, the ADS Group and its subsidiary Solektra for the deployment of solar-powered and connected sports infrastructures, and support to the African Football Night, a major event celebrating the legends of African football each year. ADS is also at the origin of the AfroCreativeEcosystem (A.C.E.), a platform designed to bring together representatives of all creative industries to foster synergies and define a common roadmap on key issues such as talent detection, training, financing and renewed partnerships with foreign multinationals to better position African creations and know-how. ACE’s first meeting took place in December 2019 in Mindelo, Cesaria Evora’s homeland, on the island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde, in the presence of famous African players active in cinema, fashion, fine arts, literature and audiovisual industries.