Mohammed Dewji is the youngest billionaire in Africa. The second-youngest billionaire on the continent is South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe (60) with a net worth of $3 billion.
Dewji who’s a Tanzanian is 46 years of age and has a net worth of $1.5 billion as of 2022. He’s also the richest 15th person in Africa and features at #1956 on the list of the world’s wealthiest people. The billionaire is Tanzania’s richest man and the country’s only billionaire.
Mohammed Dewji is a businessman and a philanthropist. He’s the CEO and owner of MeTL Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in East Africa. The company, which was founded by his father in the 1970s is the main source of Dewji’s massive fortune.
Dewji joined the billionaires club in 2013 and has been the youngest billionaire in Africa since then.
The billionaire is also a former politician having served as a member of the Tanzanian parliament for Singida, his hometown from 2005 (when he was 25) to 2015 when he resigned from politics.
Mohammed Dewji was born on 8 May 1975 in Ipembe, Singida. He went to Arusha primary school and later joined the International School of Tanganyika to pursue his secondary education. The billionaire’s father would later enroll him at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida.
Dewji then attended the Saddle Brook High School in New Jersey and then joined Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in international business and finance.
The MeTL CEO is the second born of six children.
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Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) was founded by Gulamabbas Dewji, Mohammed Dewji’s father. It began as a family business which then became one of the largest companies in Tanzania and East Africa.
The company has interests in many sectors including manufacturing, energy and petroleum, real estate, trading, agriculture, transport, logistics, and distribution. MeTL is the largest homegrown company in Tanzania with over 24,000 employees and $1.5 billion in revenues, which is about 3.5% of the GDP of the country.
MeTL has operations in 12 African countries including Commodities trading in Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, and Uganda, Detergent and carton boxes manufacturing in Ethiopia as well as edible oil processing factories in Mozambique and Zambia.
Dewji joined the company in 1999 after graduating from university. He worked for 2 years before becoming the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and later becoming the CEO.
Sitting at the helm of the conglomerate, the billionaire has largely contributed to its growth, helping the company’s revenues grow from $30 million to more than $1.5 billion by 2021. Due to his leadership in MeTL, Dewji has won numerous awards including the Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012, he was named one of the Top 100 young economic leaders in 2014 as well as winning the 2015 Business Leader of the Year Award by the African Business Magazine.
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In 2016, Dewji signed the Giving Pledge, which is a campaign to encourage extremely wealthy people to contribute at least half of their wealth in the course of their lifetime to humanitarian causes. He’s one of only 3 billionaires in Africa to sign the pledge. Read the full list of billionaires who have signed the Giving Pledge here.
The billionaire also founded the Mo Dewji Foundation, a charitable organization in 2014. In the last 5 years, the foundation has spent over $3 million improving health care, developing schools, providing education, and providing water supply inventions to create income generation.
In 2014, Dewji won the African Philanthropist of the Year Award by the African Leadership magazine. He also won the Philanthropist of the Year Award for the East African region in 2015.
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Dewji, the youngest billionaire in Africa is a Muslim and lives in Dare es Salaam, Tanzania. In 2001 he got married to Saira Dewji whom he met in high school. The two have 3 children.
In October 2018, Dewji was kidnapped by unknown gunmen outside the Colosseum hotel in Dar es Salaam where he had gone for a morning workout. The abduction attracted a lot of media and political attention. However, he was later released unharmed after 9 days and no ransom was given to his abductors.