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Serigne “Mara” Diakhate


Serigne “Mara” Diakhate, born in Senegal and now a US citizen, is a seasoned entrepreneur and world traveler with extensive business and trade connections spanning Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia. A fervent pan-Africanist, Mara is the Founder and CEO of Da’African Village, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a "bridge of togetherness" between Africa and the global community. His mission is to promote and share the vibrant culture and traditions of West Africa worldwide.


Mara passionately believes in the importance of understanding one's roots to navigate the future, and thus, he is committed to educating others about the history, culture, and languages of West Africa as part of his life’s work.

In addition to his nonprofit activities, Mara operates "Mara Imports & Traders," an African import/export business based in Los Angeles, CA. This business allows him to bring unique African products to the global market, including handcrafted instruments, handwoven baskets, and colorful handbags. He has also opened an African gifts and décor store in Las Vegas, NV, named Africa Love.

Recognized in the travel and tourism industry, Mara has served as a guide to celebrities like Serena Williams, Jessie Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Ky-Mani Marley, and Jimmy Cliff. His experiences led him to author "Talking Wolof with Da’African Village," a comprehensive guide designed to help travelers communicate effectively in West Africa.


Mara is deeply involved in fostering economic development that benefits local communities. While multinational corporations drive macro-level economic growth, Mara's Da’African Village prioritizes micro-level initiatives focused on job creation and sustainable micro-enterprises. His vision for Da’African Village is to act as a catalyst for locally driven economic development, emphasizing organic, "bottom-up" processes.

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