Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Dewji has won the 2014 African Philanthropist of the Year award— an accolade issued at the African Leadership Magazine Forum and Awards in Dubai.
The process took into account Dewji’s varying roles as CEO of the MeTL Group, the largest privately-owned conglomerate in Tanzania, as sole sponsor of a local football club known as Taifa, and as the MP for his home district of Singida Urban, in support of Tanzanian society.
On behalf of the judges, representatives for the magazine noted: “Our consultants took into consideration [Dewji’s] different leadership roles: as a businessman, a sports personality and finally as a member of parliament, providing insight, experience and inspiration.”
It also highlighted Dewji’s efforts to improve education — both through politics and personal donations — and also healthcare, particularly in partnership with the Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania, which brought expert doctors to Singida to perform over 200 cataract operations.
In remarks on the ethos behind the awards, the script read “social and economic progress hinge on inclusive participation” and “forward-looking business leaders, philanthropists and policymakers know that a new model for growth is required if all Africans are to prosper.”
Nevertheless, the magazine noted that while philanthropy was not new to African societies, as yet “few formal African foundations exist”, while at the same time, “African citizens in the Diaspora remit more money (some $52 billion each year) than all other donors combined.”
African Leadership Magazine is a pan-African leadership- focused publication targeting international investors, business executives, policy makers and multilateral agencies.