Tanzania’s Mohammed Dewji is proudly Africa’s ‘youngest’ dollar billionaire

In Success

Tanzania’s richest industrialist Mohammed Dewji is Africa’s youngest billionaire at 41, Forbes magazine reports.

In the latest on Africa Rich List, Forbes has found that the number of billionaires on the continent and the size of their fortunes is drastically decreasing.

Down from 28 in 2014, there are 21 billionaires on this year’s list, which is two billionaires less in 2015. At the same time, while the 2017 list is worth a combined 70 billion dollars, the 2015 billionaires boasted slightly more than 79 billion dollars combined.

Youngest billionaire on the continent

That notwithstanding, Tanzania’s Mohammed Dewji,  CEO of METL (a conglomerate dealing in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils with operations in at least six African countries), is the youngest billionaire on the continent with up to 1.4 billion dollars worth as at January 13, 2017.

READ: What it takes to be young and rich

His Egyptian counterpart Onsi Sawiris, on the ranking that only featured billionaires living in Africa, is the continent’s oldest billionaire at 86 years.

On the other hand, the much younger Dewji, is number 16 on the Forbes Africa Rich list, having moved up 5 places in 2015. Besides, he was the 1577th billionaire in the world in 2016.

Philanthropic causes

Now the only billionaire in his country, Dewji is reported to have signed the Giving Pledge in 2016 promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropy.

The father of three, having retired from a successful political career in early 2015, runs the Mo Dewji Foundation which provides scholarships for poor Tanzanian children.

Yet before Dewji’s success story has had enough time to more than awe other young, hard working sons and daughters of the continent, Forbes has also revealed that the Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote is still Africa’s richest person for the sixth year now,  having accumulated a 12.1 billion net worth– this despite a nearly 5 billion dollar drop in his fortune for the second year in a row.

The richest South African billionaire and the continent’s second richest is diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer with a 7 billion dollar net worth.

Telecom tycoon Mike Adenuga is Africa’s third richest with an estimated 5.8 billion dollar net.

READ: Darshan Chandaria voted Africa’s young business leader of the year

Africa’s richest woman

On the same list, Angola’s Isabel dos Santos is Africa’s richest woman with up to 3.2 billion dollar net while Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija comes second with an estimated 1.59 billion dollar fortune.

Interestingly, Forbes also found that up to 13 of the 21 billionaires have self-made fortunes, as other eight inherited theirs.

The 21 models of wealth also happen to hail from just 7 countries on the continent namely South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco (which has 3 billionaires), Algeria (1 billionaire), Tanzania (1 billionaire), and Angola (1 billionaire).

 

BY MOSES OMUSOLO

 

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