Honorary Consul of Mali in Budapest featured at Dine with Dignitaries in Las Vegas June 22, 2011.

So who is Consul Andrew G. Szabo?

Andrew Szabo in coastal Mauritania

Andrew Szabo in coastal Mauritania

Andrew G. Szabo left his native Hungary in 1987 at the age of 18 to attend college in America. While in college he launched a phone matchmaking service. In 1996 he spent the most amount ever on a single domain name by purchasing Date.com for $50,000. A few years later Date.com was the third largest dating site on the internet. He launched and sold several online marketing and entertainment companies and junior mining companies. His mining ventures took him to West Africa where he was touched by the beauty and kindness of the African continent. He decided to enter the trans-Sahara Dakar Rally, but realized that the strict racing requirements and the high-speed dash through Africa took away the magic of adventure and discovery.

 Not finding a decent alternative to the Dakar, in 2005 he created a gentler, kinder and more humanitarian car race to explore Consul Szabo, creator of the Budapest to Bamako RallyAfrica. In 2005 the Budapest To Bamako Rally was born. For his work to promote travel, tourism and commerce to West Africa the Republic Of Mali appointed Mr. Szabo to be their Honorary Consul to Hungary. The 2005 run of the Budapest-Bamako had 100 participants. Four years later, the race hosting 600 participants from five continents became the largest amateur rally in the world and the most influential charity rally in Africa. In 2010 the Budapest-Bamako had more cars than Dakar.

Consul Szabo

Participants deliver 600,000 to 1 million dollars  worth of aid to West Africa each year. Mr. Szabo currently spends his time in Los Angeles, Budapest and Bissau with his wife and three daughters. He’s actively organizing next year’s rally to Bamako and working on his next internet venture. For his work in Guinea-Bissau, this small West African nation has recently bestowed the prestigious traveling ambassador to North America title to him. Mr. Szabo is also a founder of the Budapest Holocaust Museum and plays badminton for Guinea-Bissau’s Macabbi Badminton Team.

Consul Szabo will give a brief talk followed by a 90-minute Travel Channel documentary of the Budapest to Bamako Rally.  The audience will then adjourn to a nearby restaurant for a private dinner with the speaker.  See www.dinewithdignitaries.com for details.

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