Kigali welcomes Tanzanian billionaire to invest $100m in companies

RWANDA has welcomed Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji interest to invest in the country through his company MeTL Group, which has operations in more than 10 African countries.

Recently, the Dar es Salaam-based tycoon with $1.5 billion net worth met with Ildephonse Musafiri, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) deputy chief executive Nelly Mukazayire.

Their discussions, held in Dar es Salaam, focused on collaboration and ways of speeding up investments of the group in Rwanda, the ministry said in a post on X.

Officials at the ministry told The New Times that MeTL Group expressed interest to invest around $100 million (more than Rwf120 billion) in four Rwandan companies that produce edible oil, soap, wheat and maize milling, carbonated drinks, plastic bottle recycling, agriculture, and fuel storage, among other strategic sectors.

The company has already secured land in Rwanda, the sources said.

“As a businessman, I’m grateful for the support & facility of Rwanda’s institutions,” Dewji said in a post on X. MeTL, a family-owned and diversified group of companies headquartered in Tanzania boasting of 38,000 employees, currently produces various products including wheat, maize flour, edible oil and detergents.

The company has operations in 11 African countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and DR Congo.

Meanwhile, reports indicated that the Tanzanian tycoon, better known as Mo Dewji, had climbed the list of wealthiest people in Africa from the previous 15th slot to the 13th position, according to Forbes Magazine.

The Tanzanian philanthropist, businessman, entrepreneur, and former politician, who, in 2016, signed the Giving Pledge, a multi-generational, global initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes, had maintained his wealth at the tune of $1.5 billion.

The president of MeTL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father, Gulamabbas Dewji, in the 1970s, was ranked 15 in the previous Forbes list of Africa’s dollar billionaires. He became the youngest dollar billionaire on the continent at the age of 46 years.

Mo Dewji was the only billionaire in East Africa who appeared on the list. Reports indicated that the businessman created 7,000 new jobs, bringing the total number of jobs to 35,000 in 2022 from 28,000 in 2021.

Across Tanzania, his business empire lately employs around 38,000 people and it has interests in the neighbouring East and Central African countries.

The MeTL Group’s 150 product lines, according to reports, are believed to generate around $2.5 billion in revenues.

Mo Dewji, a football fan, grew up in Singida, in central Tanzania. In March, New African, an English-language monthly news magazine based in London, indicated that from the age of 11, his father began to tutor him into the intricacies of the business and even took him on extended overseas trips to expose him to the wider world of commerce.

As reported, Mo Dewji attended the Tanzania International School where he enjoyed the sporting life and shared a passion for golf with his father.

He was sent to the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida, but later gave up on the idea of professional golf and switched to a regular school in Florida.

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