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|Member of Parliament
for Singida Urban
December 2005 – 2015
|Preceded by||Jumanne Nguli|
8 May 1975 |
Ipembe, Singida, Tanzania
|Spouse(s)||Saira Dewji (m. 2001)|
|Residence||Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University ('98)|
President & CEO of MeTL GroupFounder Mo Dewji Foundation
|Net worth||$1.1 billion (July 2015)|
Mohammed "Mo" Gulamabbas Dewji (born 8 May 1975) is a Tanzanian businessman,philanthropist, and former politician. He is the president and CEO of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s. Dewji served as Member of Parliament from 2005 – 2015 for his home town of Singida. In March 2015 Forbes magazine named him as the 21st richest person in Africa, with his net worth an estimated US $1.1 billion, having also been the first billionaire in Tanzanian Forbes Magazine in 2013.
Early life and education
Dewji was born on 8 May 1975 in Ipembe, Singida. He is the second of five children of Gulamabbas Dewji and Zubeda Dewji. 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 Salam, Tanzania.
In 1992 when 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 the Saddle Brooke High School in New Jersey.
Dewji attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C, graduating in 1998 with a Bachelors in International Business and Finance and a minor in Theology. Shortly after graduation he returned to Tanzania and joined the family business.
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. After two years of working with 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 to over $1.3 billion between 1999 and 2014. Currently, the MeTL Group has investments in manufacturing, agriculture, trading, finance, mobile telephony, insurance, real estate, transport and logistics, and food and beverages. The group is conducting 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$1.1 billion (2016). He is the 21st richest person in Africa and Africa's youngest billionaire (2016). He is the first Tanzanian on the cover of Forbes Magazine in 2013 and has been featured on three separate occasions. In November 2015, Dewji was recognized as the Forbers African Person of the year In his acceptance speech, he dedicated the award to the youth of Tanzania.
In 2000, Tanzania hosted its second multiparty elections where Dewji, at the age of 25 competed to become the Member of Parliament (MP) for Singida Urban. Despite winning the preliminary votes for the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) with overwhelming majority, Dewji was deemed too young to hold the parliamentary seat.
Tanzania held its third multi-party elections in October 2005 and Dewji stood for the parliamentary seat again and was chosen by the CCM party to stand as a candidate for Singida Urban. In the general election he won with a majority of 90 percent of the total votes and was sworn in as a Member of Parliament for Singida Urban constituency on 29 December 2005.
Dewji served as Member of Parliament for 10 years after which he resigned from politics in October 2015.
Dewji established the Mo Dewji Foundation in 2014, covering educational assistance, improving accessibility to basic needs such as water and healthcare and agri-business community projects. Dewji has visited donation sites and patients, and played a key role in encouraging others about the importance of philanthropy. Dewji has spent more than US$3 million on projects that have directly improved the lives of Tanzanians.
In 2006, Dewji founded the NGO Singida Yetu, with the vision of uniting Singida’s citizens, local government, civil society and the private sector in a collaborative partnership striving to improve the lives of people in the region. In the decade following its inception, Singida Yetu spent more than one billion Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) on community service projects.
Dewji joined the Giving Pledge, an effort to help address society's most pressing problems by inviting the world's wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy either during their lifetime or in their will. Dewji is the first Tanzanian and one of the three Africans that have made the pledge in this group of 150+ billionaires, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Strive Masiyiwa and Patrice Motsepe.
Honours and awards
- 2012: Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum
- 2014: 10 Most Powerful Men In Africa, Forbes Magazine
- 2014: African Philanthropist of the Year Award by the African Leadership magazine
- 2014: Top 100 of young economic leaders
- 2015: Recipient of Ahlulbayt TV Award for Excellence for contributions to the community
- 2015: Philanthropist of the Year Award for the East African region by All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA)
- 2015: Business Leader of the Year Award by African Business Magazine
- 2015: Forbes Africa's Person Of The Year 2015
- 2016: Choiseul 100 Africa 2016: Economic Leaders for Tomorrow
- "#1500 Mohammed Dewji". Forbes. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Nsehe, Mfonobong (2 March 2015). "The African Billionaires 2015". Forbes. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- The Citizen Reporter, . (29 June 2013). "Dewji First Tanzanian On Forbes Magazine". The Citizen. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Mohammed Dewji – TSAR OF DAR – KHOJA SHIA ITHNA-ASHERI JAMAAT". www.ksijdar.org. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- Msasanuri, Simbarashe (13 July 2013). "Tanzania: Mohamed Dewji - Weathering The Storm To Grab Global Focus". Daily News via AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Iweala, Uzodinma (13 November 2014). "Mo Magic: A Week With deep, Tanzania’s Wealthiest Man". Jamii Forums. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Hooker, Lucy (25 March 2014). "Tanzania’s Business Mogul Mohammed Dewji On Investing Locally". BBC News. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "RMB arranges loan for Tanzania’s MeTL Group_N". TXF - Trade & Export Finance. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "Forbes Africa Rich List".
- Nsehe, Mfonobong. "Tanzania's Richest Man Mohammed Dewji Is Forbes Africa's Man Of The Year".
- Nsehe, Mfonobong. "Tanzania's Richest Man Mohammed Dewji Is Forbes Africa's Man Of The Year". Forbes. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "MO Dewji Foundation – About Us". www.modewjifoundation.org. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- Carrig, David (1 June 2017). "14 billionaires join Bill Gates, Warren Buffett in giving away more than half their money". USA Today. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- Dolan, Kerry A. "Tanzanian Billionaire Mohammed Dewji Joins Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge". Forbes. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "List of 2012 Young Global Leaders Honourees" (PDF). World Economic Forum. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- Gundan, Farai (31 January 2014). "The 10 Most Powerful Men In Africa 2014". Forbes. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- "Dewji wins Africa's annual philanthropist award". Daily News. 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- "Institut Choiseul".
- "Dewji wins regional Philanthropist award". Daily News. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Mo Dewji wins top business accolade". The Citizen. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- Dewji wins Forbes` year man award, The Guardian, 29 November 2015
- "Tanzania: Mo Dewji Scoops Yet Another African Award On Leadership". 10 October 2016 – via AllAfrica.