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Tanzania’s Mo Dewji emerges as East Africa’s only dollar billionaire 2023

Filed in Michezo by on 02/02/2023 0 Comments
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Tanzania’s Mo Dewji emerges as East Africa’s only dollar billionaire 2023

Tanzania's Mo Dewji emerges as East Africa's only dollar billionaire 2023

Tanzania’s Mo Dewji emerges as East Africa’s only dollar billionaire 2023

Tanzanian businessman Mohamed Dewji has climbed two places in the latest Forbes billionaire list and has emerged as the only dollar billionaire in East Africa.

In the latest rankings published on Monday Forbes Magazine has ranked Mr Dewji, fondly known as Mo, as the 13th richest individual in Africa and the 1,913th globally with a fortune of $1.5 billion. In last year’s list, Mo was ranked 15th.

Mo has managed to maintain the level he attained in last year’s rankings despite the fact that Africa’s wealthiest people shed a combined $3.1 billion during the period from January to December 2022.

Mo’s Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) Group is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils.

Forbes Magazine says the list of African billionaires involves those who reside in Africa or have their primary businesses in the continent. Net worth [of individual billionaires] was calculated using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 13, 2023, according to Forbes.

“To value privately held businesses, we start with estimates of revenues or profits and apply prevailing price-to-sale or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies,” Forbes writer Rob Lafranco writes in the Magazine.

Topping the list is Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote with $13.5 billion, followed by South African Johann Rupert with $10.9 billion.

As a group, according to the list, the continent’s 19 billionaires are worth an estimated $81.5 billion – down from $84.9 billion a year ago. MeTL has operations in at least six other countries in eastern and southern Africa.

MeTL, is a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.


About Mohammed Dewji ‘Mo’

Mohammed “Mo” Gulamabbas Dewji (born 8 May 1975) is a Tanzanian billionaire businessman and former politician.

He is the owner of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s. Dewji served as Member of the Tanzanian Parliament for Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from 2005 to 2015 for his home town of Singida. As of October 2022, Dewji has an estimated net worth of US$1.5 billion, Africa’s 17th richest person and youngest billionaire. Dewji was the first Tanzanian on the cover of Forbes magazine, in 2013.

Dewji was born in Ipembe, Singida.[5] He is the second of six children of Gulamabbas Dewji and Zubeda Dewji.[6] They are Twelver Shias whose ancestors left Gujarat, India in the late 1800s to become traders in East Africa.

When Dewji was born, the family was still of modest means; Dewji was born with the help of a neighbouring midwife in a house built from sand and mud. Dewji attested that he almost died at birth due to having the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, a condition known as nuchal cord.

By the time Dewji started school, his father had built a family shop into a thriving import-export company.

Dewji received his primary education in Arusha at the Arusha Primary School and continued his secondary education at the International School of Tanganyika (IST) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

In 1992 his father enrolled him at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida, where Dewji also attended Trinity Preparatory School for 11th grade. Dewji then moved for his last and final year of high school to Saddle Brook High School in New Jersey.

Dewji attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in international business and finance and a minor in theology.

Upon graduation from university, Dewji returned home and assumed the management of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL), a commodities trading business founded by his father.[8] After two years of working with the company, he became chief financial officer (CFO) at MeTL.

In the early 2000s, when the Tanzanian government privatized loss-making companies, he acquired them inexpensively and turned them into profit centers by trimming personnel expenses. MeTL Group of Companies is the largest privately owned conglomerate in Tanzania.

Dewji is responsible for increasing MeTL’s revenues from $30 million[14] to over $1.5 billion between 1999 and 2018. MeTL Group has investments in manufacturing, agriculture, trading, finance, mobile telephony, insurance, real estate, transport and logistics, and food and beverages.

The group conducts business in 11 countries and employs over 28,000 people with the aim to target over 100,000 people by 2021. MeTL’s operations contribute ~3.5% of Tanzania’s GDP.

According to Forbes, Dewji has an estimated net worth of US$1.9 billion (2019), and is the 17th richest person in Africa and Africa’s youngest billionaire (2018).

He was the first Tanzanian on the cover of Forbes magazine, in 2013[18] and has appeared on three occasions. November 2015, Dewji was recognized as the Forbes Africa person of the year

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