Africa Business Communities

[Interview] Mahad Ahmed, Founder, AME Trade, United Kingdom

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Mahad Ahmed is Founder and CEO of Ame Trade Limited. He is also a member of the African Business Roundtable and an an established expert in the Consulting and Events Services industries.

Please tell us about your company.

AME Trade Ltd was founded in 2006 with the specific aim of creating quality country & industry specific B2B events and digital connect marketing services. We are a leading independent company empowering trade development & investments through the organisation of conferences & trade events, along with complimentary valuable business intelligence reports, capacity building training programmes and digital connect marketing services in the African emerging markets.

With more than 20 years of experience, we have established ourselves as one of the leading Conference & Exhibition Organisers in 29 African Countries, in the Mining, Energy, Finance and Oil&Gas sectors, we have representative & partner offices in Dakar, Doula, Johannesburg, Abuja, Luanda among others,

We are fortunate to collaborate and partner with some of the leading industry experts, financial development institutions and public sector stakeholders across the continent, as well as local SME’s for our events. 

With the insight you have into the trade and investment layout in Africa, how do you predict the AfCFTA will affect the continent's prosperity?

We interact with number of stake holders from various industries from mining to energy and finance sectors across the board in almost all the countries in line with global conditions. We are seeing slower growth and inward investments as a consequence of the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine. However there are of course some opportunities always in uncertainty, and we are now seeing significant appetite to fast track LNG investments in several markets. We firmly believe that the AfCFTA is a game changer in advancing & fast tracking economic integration on the continent, making it easier to add value locally and seamlessly access entire African markets.

Women in business in Africa. How far has it come in the past decades and what evolution can we expect in near future?

Not sure as a man I am qualified to answer this, but based on my experience operating in Africa, women own and operate all kinds of businesses across the value chain in the sectors we operate in. It would be fair to say over the past decade this has increased and will continue to increase I'm certain.

What can African governments do, individually and jointly, to elevate the continent’s private sector?

I think to be fair a lot has been done at national and regional levels. Of course there is always room for improvement; perhaps one recommendation or suggestion I can make is for regional economic communities such as ECOWAS/SADC to play a more active role in integrating organizations like the African Business Roundtable into their strategic plans to facilitate and assist with various capacity building requirements.

How prepared is Africa to become a knowledge economy?

I believe Africa is more prepared that most think. If you look  at whats happening in Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and other cities, the emergence of knowledgeable, educated youth is really inspiring. With so many tech hubs, once again the youth is the main driver and is essentially the demographic dividend. Certainly higher education institututions have a major role to play and we are quite lucky to have some really good universities.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a member of the African Business Roundtable?

As an SME member of the ABR and in our line of work, having access to like-minded professionals from different countries in Africa is key, as well as access to regional and international institutions. 

Are there seats on the board of the African Business Roundtable for the youth?

I personally think we all need to adapt and move with the times, and having young professionals involved has always brought good results. However the ABR management can best answer this question. Not sure at 43 I can be considered as youth :)

What is the latest news from AME Trade?

We are in the process of rebounding from the pandemic and resumption of face to face events across the continent. To date we delivered 4 high level summits attended by major international brands and head of states/presidents in four different countries . We were in Niamey, Niger back in February for an ECOWAS mining and energy event, then in May at Luanda for the 8th Africa Petroleum congress with APPO. In June we delivered the 8th edition Mozambique for our flagship mining and energy event and this month of July we concluded the 5th edition of our Pensions and Investments Summit in Mauritius.

For the second half of the year, we are in Dakar for our housing and real state show Sen habitat, then in Marrakech for the 13th edition of Africa PPP summit, followed by West Africa's largest mining event Symposium Mines Guinea, and finally in Congo Brazaville for the 5th edition of Congo Energy conference & Expo. It's a very busy year for us.

About the African Business Roundtable

The African Development Bank Group set up the African Business Roundtable in 1990. Today the ABR is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders, and is the representative of the African Business Society to the United Nations. An independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, The African Business Roundtable is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is the only organization representing the African Private Sector within ECOSOC.


Read more interviews with members of the African Business Roundtable organization:

[Interview] Dr. Mima Nedelcovych, Chairman, AfricaGlobal Schaffer

[Interview] Dr. Thomas W. Laryea, Legal Counsel, Orrick, USA


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