Samba Bathily is a Mali born, global African entrepreneur and Pioneer in sustainable clean energy and solar solutions. He is the Founder of Africa Development Solutions (ADS) as well as the Co-founder and CEO of Solektra, the company driving the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative.
Recognized as one of the influential leaders driving growth in Africa, Samba is one of the key enablers 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 financing, renewable energy and access to water, new technologies and communications, infrastructures construction and real estate, education and youth employment, automobile and logistics, processing industries and franchising, bringing together 18 subsidiaries 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 and project financing of new technologies. Whether Samba Bathily was working with AZLAN and CISCO to expand the bandwidth for the 2002 World Cup in Mali, or when he was developing new schemes of access to medicines with the company Trends Guinea, what is clear, is that Samba Bathily has developed a detailed understanding of B2B and B2G business, enabling him today to offer very innovative public partnerships through the ADS Group.
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 installations of street lamps, mini-grid programs and domestic and community kits in 17 countries throughout Africa. This initiative is also supported by the “Solektra Solar Academy” to train the African youth in the installation and maintenance of the solar solutions. And, Solektra launched the first “made in Africa” solar street light assembly plant in Bamako, Mali to service West 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.