About the Founders
KOUASSI Nanan Serge is from Cote d’Ivoire also known as Ivory Coast and NABE Ismael is from the Republic of Guinea
They both came to Malaysia more than 14 years ago to further our academic studies (MBA for Serge and Master in Telecommunication Engineering and MBA for Ismael from the university of Malaya). Right upon graduation they were fortunate to get their first shot at “Corporate Malaysia” with a British based business intelligence company head office in KL.
When was MAPE created?
Serge: Malaysian African Professionals & Entrepreneurs (MAPE) was established on 17 September 2015 and officially launched on 26 February 2016 by the former Minister of International Trade and Industry YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed in the presence of all African embassies and diplomatic missions in Malaysia as well as association, business communities and members of the public. It is a “by-invitation only” business association consisting of professionals, entrepreneurs and industry captains from Malaysia & Africa.
Ismael: We are both co-founders of MAPE and I act as Vice-President while Serge is Deputy Vice-President (Africa).
What circumstances led to the creation of MAPE and what are you trying to achieve with it in Malaysia and Africa?
Serge: The idea of MAPE was born after Ismael and I attended a momentous event which was the 9th Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) held in June 2011. The Dialogue was Tun Dr Mahatir’s brainchild to foster smart partnerships across governments, businesses and social sectors especially with those from Africa and the Caribbean. As more and more Malaysian companies have been taking interest in the economic resurgence of Africa as well as exploring business and investment opportunities available in the continent, we decided it was about time to have a formal and recognized entity that could spearhead, facilitate and promote more Malaysian business and investment engagement with Africa.
What is MAPE about or what services do you render?
Ismael: As a business association our mandate is to increase annual trade growth between Malaysia and Africa from 10% to 15% and double trade between Malaysia and Africa from USD 8 billion to USD 16 billion by 2021. We provide market research, market reports, due diligence, networking and lobbying services to our members. We have organized a number of high-profile meetings and networking sessions between African and Malaysian officials as well as trade and investment missions to Africa
What have you achieved or how has it improved the African community in Malaysia?
Ismael:Over the years we have contributed to a stronger and more dynamic economic partnership between Malaysia & Africa through MOU/MOA signings at government as well as private sector level, advocacy for trade facilitation policies, educational & awareness activities to showcase business and investment climate in Africa. MAPE has also become the authoritative voice and partner of choice for Malaysian government agencies and companies in building better and stronger bilateral trade with the African continent.
Serge: As CSR activities, MAPE offers assistance to African students in Malaysia for Internship & Job placements as well as sponsorships for social activities (educational trips, sport activities, etc.)