Samba Bathily is the chairman and founder of ADS Global Corporation, a diversified group that operates in communication and information technologies, energy, retail, construction, the hotel trade and finance. This Malian businessman has played a major role in developing a genuine private sector in Africa over the past 20 years. For a number of years now, his main partners include CISCO SYSTEM, HUAWEI, SAMSUNG, SUMEC, BYD, DALET, NARI, CWE and FIAT.
Samba Bathily has called upon his vast experience in new technologies to launch a new subsidiary in 2000, called Afritek IT.
Samba Bathily has won many major awards including the Internet Conference Innovation Award in 2000 in Bamako, Mali.
A visionary who became an expert in information and communication technologies
Over the past 20 years, Samba Bathily has acquired considerable experience in telecommunications. In 1998 he founded Arc Mali. This pioneering Internet service provider is best known for having won the contract, in partnership with Azlan, to extend Sotelma’s (the former Malian national telecommunications company) bandwidth capacity. Azlan and Arc Mali successfully deployed CISCO equipment in 2002, in time for the Africa Cup of Nations, contributing in no small way to the success of this event.
In 2002, Samba Bathily was the only African entrepreneur to attend the international IT training course on “the Future of Technology”. Over 68 senior businessmen or managers attended this event, which included a trip to London to meet with teams from Symbian, the software package used by Nokia mobile phones, to Microsoft’s HQ and to Helsinki for discussions with Nokia. Attending this course strengthened Samba Bathily’s conviction that the only way to accelerate the development of new technologies in Africa was to adopt a pan-African approach.
Over the years, Samba Bathily established a network of reliable partners. He used this network to set up OSIRIM (the Observatory for Network Information Systems and Information Highways in Mali) early 2000 – an organization responsible for democratizing Internet access in Mali, in collaboration with the founders of OSIRIS in Senegal.
A pioneer driving the development of public-private partnerships in Africa
Samba Bathily works closely with many African countries and major multinationals to establish a favorable framework for public-private partnerships. According to Samba Bathily, efficient PPPs are the best way to drive critical BtoG projects such as the development of networks and infrastructures – it’s up to businesses to identify innovative sources of finance and to States to offer unambiguous and legally binding contracts.
Example of an efficient PPP: the Akon Lighting Africa initiative launched in 2014 by Samba Bathily, the singer Akon and international leader Thione Niang. With support from Solektra International, a company founded by the 3 associates, Akon Lighting Africa aimed to bring solar powered electricity to rural parts of Africa using an innovative pay-as-you-go scheme, which allows States to benefit from the equipment immediately and to spread the repayments.