Five richest Tanzanians who worth 3tr/-

Mr Bakhresa
The five richest Tanzanians have a combined fortune of 3.184tr/-(1.99 billion US dollars), according to the monthly Pan African business magazine, Ventures Africa.

Between them, these men —Said Salim Bakhresa, Gulam Dewji, Rostam Aziz, Reginald Mengi and Ali Mufuruki—could pay the salaries and expenses of 22 ministries and government agencies and still keep some change.

A combination of all ministries and offices as stipulated in the 2012/2013 vote for salaries and expenses requires just 3.174tr/-.

According to information posted on the magazine’s website Salim  Bakhresa is the richest Tanzanian, with a fortune of 992bn/- ($620m). 

This is the same rating reported in Forbes magazine last week. He dropped out of school at the age of 14 to launch his own business and started out selling a potato mix. 

He then opened a small restaurant in Dar es Salaam in the 1970s and, as the restaurant operation expanded, Mr Bakhresa moved on to a grain milling and food production company. 

It is now the flagship of the Bakhresa group. The multinational conglomerate manufactures a wide range of things—from maize flour to chocolate, ice cream, soft drinks and paper bags.

With annual sales of 800 million US dollars, the group now has manufacturing operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda and Mozambique and employs over 2,000 people, according to the publication.

Mr Gulam Dewji is second on the list. He is reported to have a fortune of 896bn/- ($560m) obtained from manufacturing activities. His four textile mills in Tanzania and Mozambique produce 100 million running metres of fabric annually, according to Venture Africa.

Mr Dewji started importing key commodities into Tanzania in the 1970s. “He grew the small trading operation into Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania, one of East Africa’s largest conglomerates,” the publication says. “Key assets include 21st Century Textiles, one of the largest textile producers in Sub-Saharan Africa.”  
  
Mr Dewji said yesterday that some of the figures in the report were not true. “I’m currently in Morogoro….I will make a clarification on some issues when I return to Dar es Salaam.”

He also gets his riches from manufacturing Pride, a fruit beverage—to edible oils, toilet soaps, artificial sweeteners, bicycles and motorcycles. The group also owns an insurance firm, container depots, petroleum marketing company, logistics outfit and a retail concern with over 100 outlets across the country.

Rostam Aziz, the third-placed man on the Rich List, hailed the publication, saying it appears to have been seriously researched. Venture Africa quoted Mr Aziz’s fortune at 672bn/- (about $420 million) obtained from telecommunications, mining and shipping ventures.

Mr Aziz’s family businesses include a stake in Vodacom Tanzania, Caspian (the country’s largest contract mining company) and Tanzania International Container Terminal, which it owns in partnership with Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa.

But he took issue with the publication’s remarks on his stake in Vodacom Tanzania. “It is properly researched except where it says I own 19 per cent of Voda,” he said, “actually, it is 35 per cent.”

There was no immediate reaction from Mr Mengi. But, according to Venture Africa, he made his fortune in media investments, Coca-Cola Bottling and Gold Mining.

Mr Ali Mufuruki, fifth on the list, said he had read the ranking report but the data was not correct. “I would be very happy to be that rich but, on my side, I think there is a problem….the published data is not correct,” he said.

He added, though, that it was encouraging that people have started talking about other people’s riches in a positive manner. Mr Mufuruki, according to Venture Africa, has a 110 million US dollars fortune, sourced from retailing and venture capital.

The publication says Mr Mufuruki’s company holds the Tanzanian and Ugandan franchise for South African retail giant Woolsworth. Infotech also has interests in property development and leasing, hospitality, advertising and mobile telecommunications.

According to information posted on the Venture Africa Website, the firm seeks to champion African capitalism by celebrating African success, free enterprise, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the rewards of hard work.  It aims to showcase the business aspect of Africa to the world. 

“There are major deals taking place within Africa,” the firm says in a statement. “There are many inspirational stories of entrepreneurs braving the red tape in their respective countries to establish successful businesses. These are the stories that…need to be told.”

The firm is categorical about one thing—Africa has many more millionaires than are actually reported. So, who is next in line?
Source: The Citizen, www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported from Dar es Salaam
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