“Even when I had few resources, I ensured to reach out to the needy.
Thus, when fortune smiled at me, I did not waste time and established the foundation for the work I enjoyed the most – making others happy.”
– Rizwan Adatia, Chairman of COGEF Group
AHMEDABAD: Rizwan Adatia’s story from rags to riches may be similar to those of thousands of Gujaratis who went to eastern shores of Africa in search of greener pastures between 1960s and 1980s. But what set this Mozambique businessman apart from his contemporaries are his philanthropic activities.
Talking about his journey, this Ismaili Khoja businessman said that he first migrated to Congo in 1986 at the age of 16. “I was a teen with ideas, but full of apprehensions. I was already working in Porbandar, but my elder brother, who was based in Congo, promised a better future and called me there. I never completed my education after failing in class X and thus, today put a great emphasis on formal and informal education. When I came to Congo, I had Rs 200 in my pocket,” he said.
Chairman of Rs 2,000 crore COGEF Group that is spread in 10 African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and Madagascar, Adatia’s foundation – Rizwan Adatia Foundation (RAF) – spends a considerable sum annually on developmental projects in African countries and India.
The foundation started off by working with local African communities, identifying underprivileged children and ensuring their education, providing livelihood for widows and organizing medical camps for local communities. “When Kutch was rocked by the earthquake, we visited the spots and ensured that the girls’ education did not suffer,” he said.
Gujarat is a major beneficiary as the foundation has built schools in earthquake-hit regions of Kutch, constructed girls’ hostels and donated public welfare funds.
The foundation is all set to adopt Junagadh’s Maliya Hatina village for overall development for which the formalities are over. The foundation claims that it is the first of its kind initiative by the government and NGO in the state where an NRG has taken the initiative.
The foundation is also providing 10 dialysis machines to Civil Hospital’s Kidney institute, second institution after a hospital in Mumbai that recently got 18 such machines.
Discover, Explore and Learn more via Africa NRG takes charge of home land – The Times of India
Learn more about COGEF Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives