This is what God has given me.
I am Mor Ndiaye and I am the founder and CEO of Africa Emerge.
From a tender age, I was fascinated by tourism and the economic impact I perceived it to have in my native city, Mbour at the “Petite-Côte” in Senegal. From my observations, I concluded that the tourism industry was full of opportunities, especially considering the high number of tourist hotels that endowed my city. Looking back now, it is evident that the demand for tourism-related services was high but the people of Mbour lacked to apply the “pull strategy” to entice tourists and make their city a prime tourist location.
My interests in tourism grew over time and I continued to observe the tourism sector in my home country. It became evident that diversification was a necessity. If we offer more, we can attract a bigger audience; we can make more money, I thought to myself. Therefore, when I was in France taking part in an internship program at W.F.M.S. (World. Finance. Management. Services), I developed an “alternate tourism concept” that aimed at changing tourist experiences in Senegal by hosting them in the homes of the locals instead of hotels. In opposition to the classic tourism concept, the “alternate tourism concept” focuses on giving tourist an authentic experience of their host country while increasing the positive impact of tourism on the lives of the locals.
My desire to showcase Africa’s beauty to the world continued to grow, leading me to undertake a research study to determine whether small and mid-sized French organizations were either interested in exporting to Senegal or setting base in the country. I based my degree program thesis on the same and came up with a set of approaches that could be used to provide outsiders access to the Senegalese market.
On completion of my bachelor’s degree, I stayed on in Lyon, France. I worked at Tamaka Trading International, a company specialized in commodity trading, serving in the capacity of a Market Researcher and Consultant. During that period, I had the opportunity to apply most of the concepts that I had learned during my undergraduate regarding import and export like banking instruments, shipping and conditioning, and incoterms, among others. While at this organization, I observed that all our commodity deals were closed in the US, which was not home to either the buyer or the seller. Later, I realized that Tamaka’s trading deals were tailored that way to enhance the credibility of the dealings, owing to the high competency levels associated with US lawyers and the banking system in the country, which makes it a primary location to undertake high dollar amount transactions.
Consequently, I decided that the US would provide a better learning ground for me. I moved there to undertake my MBA, and in my final year wrote a thesis on the ways that US companies can effectively penetrate Africa’s Markets. Moreover, I also obtained my ITIL certification.
Over the past 20 years, I have served in many US companies within the retail industry including News Express, NAMA Inc., First Union Bank (now Wells Fargo), Office Depot and CVS Health, as both an operations manager and a district sales manager. I was an overseer of successful operations for 5 years in 5 different districts, each having 9-17 stores, and realized sales revenues ranging from $180-$250 million annually. I also directly supervised store managers and pharmacists (about 39 direct reports), heading a team of about 350-400 employees, and consistently delivered sales and services that were above average.
Currently, I am a landlord managing properties in DC and Virginia. And while working as a district manager at CVS Health, I reconstructed/built over 11 retail outlets throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. Additionally, I am also an entrepreneur, and the founder of Computer Accessories Plus, a retail outlet store in Clarendon, Virginia, and Authentic Shoes by Ndiaye, a shoe store in Richmond, Virginia. Even though these businesses serve consumers in the US, the main aim of creating them was to supply three retail stores I started in Senegal. Regardless, I have observed that the dynamic in Africa has shifted. Despite the rapid goods consumption rate, import is no longer a priority.
Throughout, my motivation levels to participate in Africa’s future has continued to grow. This led to the establishment of a third company in 2015, Emerge Consulting International, located in Virginia. This is a consulting organization that aims at facilitating access to Africa by interested US companies. The past three years have been extremely beneficial for the organization, taking into account the tactical and strategic decisions that have been implemented to eliminate market barriers and the improvements that have been made on the business model.
Based on the shift in the African market, I founded Africa Emerge, a subsidiary of Emerge Consulting International to tackle deeper issues concerning the African market like:
- How many people just within the US have a desire to travel to Africa but the offerings remain limited?
- How many African American are in dire need to go to Africa but remain discouraged or even scared by wrong narratives about Africa?
- How many entrepreneurs or small businesses have a strong desire to invest, expand to Africa’s Markets but have postponed their game plan, waiting for “better days” in Africa?
- How many people need to acquire land for real estate, agriculture… in Africa but do not have the knowhow?
- What are the current win-win deals in specific industries that can impact both African populations and investors?
- Is Africa safe enough? What are the risks of doing business there?
Resultantly, Africa Emerge has managed to come up with answers for these and other such questions and together with its strategic partners is ready and willing to showcase Africa from a totally different perspective to the world market. Considering the emergence and expansion of many African markets, Africa Emerge is offering ease of access, marketing resources, strategic consulting, investment opportunities and project management services that aim at creating great returns while impacting the lives of African people.
The future is now! The winners of tomorrow in Africa’s market are those that incorporate Africa into their growth goals and strategically engage themselves in win-win partnerships, like those offered by Africa Emerge.
The future is now!