Every year, Forbes magazine prints a list of the four hundred richest humans in the World. This issues is as popular with business crowd as the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is with the sports crowd.
It makes for interesting reading, because it tells you who these people are and what made them so rich, and also how the country has changed over the years.
When Forbes first published its list in 1982,the number-one spot was held by Donald K. Ludwig, the shipping tycoon, followed by by J. Paul Getty, who got his money the old-fashioned way: inheritance.
Tanzania is a nation sprawling with immense resources, which the wise have managed to capitalize on and build their wealth. In the East African region, it counts as the second largest country with a growing population and economy as well.
It is not surprising that the number of millionaires in the country continue to grow. The richest people in Tanzania have built multibillion industries in diverse sectors. These are areas like energy, agriculture, telecommunication, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and more.
You probably have names popping into your heard as who makes it into Tanzania’s rich list. A peek into Forbes richest people in Africa will tell you a lot. The biggest income earners have certain things in common: fantastic work ethics, breakthrough ideas, and commitment to their objectives.
Additionally, they always have a transformative moment in their career, which comes out of the sheer dedication to their vision. The rich are game-changers, people that have helped shape their countries, and in Tanzania, they have made a name for themselves.
Top richest people in Tanzania
Tanzania’s success story is not absent from the great business minds that help shape the economy. These individuals have heavily invested in various sectors, making the country a strategic investment opportunity for global billionaires.
1. Mohammed Dewji
Dewji is probably one of the best of Tanzania’s success story. He is a popular personality in the country and is credited for implementing a radical change that transformed the family wholesale and retail business into a global conglomerate.
Dewji, popularly known as Mo, grew his business empire after the acquisition of various production plants previously owned by the Ugandan government.
Currently, Mo is the CEO of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL), the largest homegrown firm in the country. He has 75% shareholding. Also invest in Simba Sport Club with share holding 51%
Interestingly, Dewji served as a Member of Parliament for the country’s ruling party for a decade until 2015. It was a great move since it allowed him to familiarize himself with the political environment that would be of great benefit to his business interests.
Forbes released its list of Africa’s richest people 2021, only one East African was on the list and was a distant thirteenth out of eighteen billionares who made the cut.
Tanzanian Mr Mohammed Dewj was the only East African representative with net worth of $1.6 Billion
2. Rostam Azizi
Rotzam has been a familiar personality among the top 10 richest people in Tanzania. Born in 1960, and now 60 years old, he was the first person to earn the billionaire status in the country. Azizi has invested in telecommunications, real estate, mining, and many other sectors.
In 2014, he made a significant business move by selling his 17.25% holding in Vodacom Tanzania – the largest mobile operator in the country. Aziz owns Caspian Mining, which is one of the largest mining companies in Tanzania. Mr Azizi current net worth is TSH. 2.3 trillion.
3. Said Salim Bakhresa
Said Salim was born in 1949 and is the founder of Bakhresa Group. This group has other substantial firms under its umbrella. One of them is Azam TV – a pay per view platform in East Africa. What many do not know about Said is that he is a school dropout. Certainly, it did not deter him from achieving his dreams.
The Bakhresa Group is active in food processing, sea freight business, and petroleum, investing in all these regions in only thirty years. His company has gone beyond Tanzania’s boundaries to Uganda, Malawi, and Mozambique. Bakhresa has an estimated net worth of TSH. 1.3 trillion.
4. Reginald Mengi
Reginald is a media tycoon, owning one of the largest media firms in Africa. His company, IPP Media Group, has several investments. They hold a radio station, television channels, newspaper outlets, and internet properties.
Reginald does not only hold investments in media, but his IPP firm also participates in gold, uranium, copper, chrome and coal mining. Mr. Mengi is a philanthropist, giving numerous Tanzanian children suffering from heart conditions access to better health facilities in India. Reginald Mengi’s estimated net worth is TSH. 1.2 trillion.
5. Ally Awadh
It is said that Ally Awadh is intellectually endowed in the business sector. Barely forty years has old; this phenomenal entrepreneur has already built a billion-dollar oil firm in Tanzania. Ally came up with this business after being intensively involved in oil trading and services.
Since he entered the oil business as an underdog, Awadh has faced many obstacles while building his business empires. Today, his enterprises have accumulated immense wealth. Indeed, Ally takes home a big chunk of his TSH. 2.3 trillion business earnings.
6. Shekhar Kanabar
Shekhar comes sixth among the wealthiest people in Tanzania. He is the managing director if the Synarge Group. This a renowned conglomerate in Tanzania with business interest in different sectors of the economy.
Shekhar’s Synarge group is famous for the production of automotive accessories. These are products like batteries, lead, and many other vehicle spare parts. Although the group is family-owned, Shekrah has made strategic business moves that have given home high earnings over time.
7. Shubash Patel
Shubash is the great mind behind the Motisum Group. In only two decades, Mr Patel transformed a simple company that only concentrated on the rolling mill business into a multifaceted firm.
Today, his large firm possesses 15 distinct subdivisions that have interests in different sectors of the economy. These are real estate, food processing, mining, and others.
8. Fida Hussein Rashid
He might not make it to the list of the wealthiest people in Africa, but his accumulated wealth is worth mentioning. Fida Hussein businesses are predominant in the automobile industry. He is renowned for creating the first notable firm in Tanzania that handles second-hand automobiles.
Fida also has excellent investments in real estate. Some of his properties include Raha and Zahra Towers. His company, Africarriers, has the sole distribution rights for brands such as Eicher and Golden Dragon. Over the years, he has been moving up the chain of successful entrepreneurs. Now, Fida has amassed immense wealth.
9. Yusuf Manji
Yusuf Maji is a notable entrepreneur in the top ten richest people in Tanzania. He has excellent investments in real estate using his Quality Group of Companies. Yusuf has also invested in the vehicle industry and is the chairman of Young African SC – a successful football club in Tanzania. Sure, he has created high cash streams from his different businesses to earn him a spot on the rich people list.
10. Salim Turkey
Salim is a well-established businessperson with investments in cement manufacturing, real estate, and hospitals. He is also a Tanzanian Member of Parliament, with extensive political experience. Salim manages all his business under the Zanzibar-based Turkys Group that he created in the eighties. Today, out of his continuous investments, Salim is a member of the billionaires club of Tanzania.
11. Ghalib Said Mohammed
Ghalib is the founder of GSM Group that has investments in transport, real estate, financial services, general trading, logistics, media and more. In his early business days, Ghalib worked for his father’s cashew farming and other general business. This expanded his business knowledge, catapulting him to what he is today. Sure, Ghalib is making millions from his diversified investments.
12. Yogesh Manek
Yogesh is the founder of MAC Group. His most significant investment in Tanzania is EXIM bank, which ranks among the three biggest banks in the country. Also, he is the chairperson of Heritage Ali Insurance Co T Ltd that mostly focuses on health maintenance. All these business interests have created massive wealth for Yogesh, making him a part of Tanzania’s wealthy class.
The word “inheritance” appears in the biographical of some billionaire but not all.
There were not as many old-money fortunes on the 2021 list as there were in the 1990s, due to privatization policy which leads to a couple of conclusions about wealth in Tanzania. First, it is not easy to hold on to money, even among billionaires.
Inheritance taxes put a big dent in any large fortune that’s handed down from one generation to the next. Unless the heirs are are careful and invest wisely, they can lose their millions as fast as their ancestors made them.
Second, Tanzania is still the land of opportunity where smart young people like Fred Vunjabei can end up on the Forbes list.