Dar es Salaam. Businessman Mohammed Dewji’s fortune shrunk by $300 million (Sh960 billion) last year, according to Forbes’ latest ranking of Africa’s billionaires listing in 2020.
But, despite the loss, the Tanzanian businessman - popularly known as ‘Mo’ - maintained the position of the continent’s youngest billionaire for six straight years with a value of $1.6 billion (Sh3.7 trillion).
Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote is still Africa’s richest man with a fortune of $10.2 billion (Sh23.5 trillion) according to the Forbes ranking. Mr Dangote who has invested in a cement factory in Mtwara saw his income for the period under review drop by $200m (Sh460 billion). Mr Dewji, the CEO of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) had a fortune of $1.9 billion (Sh4.4 trillion) in the 2019 ranking.
Yesterday the businessman told The Citizen that the drop in the fortune was due to his long term investment in Agri-business. “I aim to become the largest sisal producer in the world in two years,” said ‘MO’, thanking President John Magufuli’s policy on investment. He said the government was doing “a great job” in promoting investment.
MeTL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa. Operating in at least six African countries, the company’s ambition is to expand operations to several other countries.
Mr Dangote, the founder and chairs of the Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer, owns nearly 85 per cent of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company. Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tonnes annually and has operations in ten countries across Africa. Mr Dangote also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
Mr Nassef Sawiris, “a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family,” according to Forbes, comes second in the list, after Mr Dangote with $8.1 billion real time net worth as of yesterday. Mr Sawiris runs Orascom Construction Industries, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa; it trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. Mr Mike Adenuga, regarded as Nigeria’s second richest man, comes third in the list with real time net worth of $7.7 billion of yesterday. Adenuga built his fortune in telecom and oil production, according to Forbes. His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the third largest operator in Nigeria, with 43 million subscribers. He made his first million at age 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks, according to Forbes.
Others on the list are Nicky Oppenheimer & family ($7.7 billion real time net worth).