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Naguib Onsi Sawiris
Naguib Sawiris, 2009
ⲛⲉⲅⲓⲃ ⲁⲛⲥⲓ ⲥⲉⲩⲏⲣⲟⲥ
|Born||15 June 1954|
|Alma mater||ETH Zurich|
|Known for||Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding S.A.E.|
|Net worth||US$5.5 billion (May 2018) (Bloomberg)|
|Political party||Free Egyptians Party|
|Spouse(s)||Ghada Gamil Sawiris|
|Relatives||Nassef Sawiris and Samih Sawiris (brothers)|
Naguib Onsi Sawiris (or Sawires; Coptic: ⲛⲉⲅⲓⲃ ⲁⲛⲥⲓ ⲥⲉⲩⲏⲣⲟⲥ; Egyptian Arabic: نجيب اُنسي ساويرس, IPA: [næˈɡiːb ˈʔonsi sæˈwiːɾɪs, -iːɾes]; born 17 June 1954) is an Egyptian billionaire businessman. Sawiris is chairman of Weather Investments's parent company, and chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding S.A.E.
Sawiris holds a diploma of Mechanical Engineering with a Masters in Technical Administration from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich) and a Diploma from the German Evangelical School, Cairo, Egypt.
Since joining Orascom, the family business in 1979, Sawiris has contributed to the growth and diversification of the company into what it is today one of Egypt’s largest and most diversified conglomerates and the country’s largest private sector employer. Sawiris built the railway, information technology, and telecommunications sectors of Orascom. Management decided to split Orascom into separate operating companies in the late 90s: Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Orascom Hotels & Development and Orascom Technology Systems (OTS).
As the founder of OTH, Sawiris has led the growth of the company, culminating in the merger deal between Wind Telecom, the parent company of Orascom Telecom Holding and VimpelCom Ltd. in April 2011. At the time, the merger created the world’s sixth largest mobile telecommunications provider by number of subscribers with operations in 20 countries serving 181 million customers. As part of the merger deal, Sawiris spun off Orascom Telecom’s non-gsm operations and Egyptian-based telecom assets into Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding of which he is chairman.
Sawiris led the acquisition of La Mancha Resources Inc through a tender offer launched by Weather Investments II. La Mancha Resources Inc. is an international gold producer based in Canada with operations, development projects and exploration activities in Africa, Australia and Argentina. In August 2012, Sawiris was appointed chairman.
At international and regional levels, Sawiris serves on several Boards, committees and councils:
- Member of the International Advisory Committee to the NYSE Board of Directors (IAC) since November 2005
- Board member of the International Advisory Board to the National Bank of Kuwait
- A member of the Supreme Council of Sciences and Technology with Nobel laureate Dr. Ahmed Zewail, Dr. Farouk El-Baz, and Dr. Magdi Yacoub.
- Member of both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Arab Thought Foundation
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the French University of Egypt
- Vice-Chair of Sawiris Foundation for Social Development
- Member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs
- Board member of the Consumer Rights Protection Association of Egypt
In September 2015, he offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy to help hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict. However, he conceded the plan could face challenges in terms of jurisdictions and customs regulation.
In 2019, Sawiris praised U.S. President Donald Trump's administration for standing up to China on predatory actions in trade and backed the U.S. in its security concerns about Chinese tech giant Huawei.
Awards and recognition
Sawiris is the recipient of a number of honorary degrees, industry awards and civic honors, including the Legion d’Honneur (the highest award given by the French Republic for outstanding services rendered to France). In July 2011 Sawiris was awarded the Honor of Commander of the Order of the Stella della solidarietà italiana (Star of Italian Solidarity) for his contribution to the Italian economy through his investments in Italy. In 2006, the “Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam" award was conferred upon him by General Pervez Musharraf for services rendered to the people of Pakistan in the field of telecommunication, investments and social sector work.
Sawiris is married, with four children and lives in Cairo. He speaks Arabic, English, German and French.
- "Egypt billionare offers to buy island for refugees, wants to name it 'Independence' | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- "Egyptian billionaire praises Trump for standing up to China on trade". 12 February 2019.
- "The World's Billionaires", Forbes. 25 January 2015.