Tanzanian billionaire entrepreneur Mohammed Dewji has been named Best African CEO at the Africa Investments Forum & Awards ceremony in Paris.
The accolade came just a month after Dewji, Africa’s youngest billionaire,was abducted by unidentified kidnappers in Dar es Salaam. He was held for nine days before being releasedunharmed with no ransom paid.
The CEO of METL Group (Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd) was not able to attend the Paris prize-giving but received warm applause in his absence.
Pledged to giving
Dewji, who was FORBES AFRICA’s Person of The Year in 2016, single-handedly turned his father’s trading business into Tanzania’s largest import-export group.The family business is one of the few $1bn companies in Africa.
Turnover tops $1.5bn and the business trades in 12 countries, employing 25,000 people. It produces foods and goods across 21 different categories, outselling global brands. Dewji has his own drinks brand, Mo Cola, and supplies maize to the World Food Programme.
As well as running his own philanthropic foundation, Dewji is one of three Africans to have joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in the Giving Pledge, an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy either during their lifetime or in their will.