You see Amadou Mahtar Ba and you want to smile, not just because he always has his smile on, but because he is the face of a rising Africa. One that has pledged his patriotism and devotion to a course that means a great deal to him.
His immense contribution to the development of media in Africa has ushered him into prominence and positioned him as an icon of much demand.
Amadou Mahtar Ba is the Chief Executive of the African Media Initiative (AMI), a Nairobi based NGO aimed at strengthening the media sector in Africa to ensure the accountability of governments and other institutions, and to promote social development and economic growth.
He is also co-founder and chairman of AllAfrica Global Media, an international multi-media content service provider, systems technology developer and the largest distributor of African news and information worldwide. AllAfrica distributes news from about 130 African media organizations and hundreds of other sources through Allafrica.com, the web’s most popular Africa destination – and also through commercial services that collectively reach millions of people worldwide.
Prior to launching AllAfrica, Ba served from 1996 to 2000 as Director of Communications and Marketing for BICIS Bank, a subsidiary of the French banking group BNP Paribas. From 1993 to 1996, he helped lead the successful restructuring and privatization of the Pan-African News Agency (PANA).
In 2014, he was celebrated by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 10 most powerful men in Africa and was also listed in the top 500 Africans contributing to the rise of the continent by the Africa24 Magazine in 2011. A year later, he scooped the EXPO 2015 and Afroline award for his “outstanding contribution to African Media and his skills on promoting innovation among African Media.”
For three years in a row, Amadou Mahtar Ba has been selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by the New African Magazine, in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.
He was selected in 2013 amongst notable African change makers like; Nigerian television host Mosunmola Abudu, South African media bosses Koos Becker and Khanyi Dhlomo, Ghanaian-born BBC newscaster Komla Dumor, Kenyan lawyer-turned-journalist Julie Gichuru, South African-born host on Al Jazeera television Redi Tlhabi and Nigerian media executive Alex Okosi.
Amadou’s taste for sound education has seen him travel across countries; senegal, spain, France and on. All the while, holding unto his African fire, which for him is a heritage he would never trade.
Interestingly, he took for himself a souvenir from each of the countries. I guess that explains his fluency in French, English, Wolof and Spanish.
A man of many parts, Amadou Mahtar continues to blaze the trail in the media industry. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council for the Future of Journalism, advisory board member of the Reporting Developing Network Africa, member of the Advisory Committee of the Knight International Journalism Fellowship, administered by the International Center for Journalists, as well as a member of the Africa Policy Advisory Board of ONE.
Keep shining Ahmadou Mahtar Ba, your African brethren are exceedingly proud of you.