Africa Leaders Magazine


Nassef  Sawiris is a prominent Egyptian businessperson with a wide range of business interests. Carrying forward and expanding a business empire is a significant responsibility and challenge, especially when it involves a conglomerate like Orascom that operates in multiple industries. Nassef Sawiris has played a crucial role in continuing and growing his family’s business legacy, following in the footsteps of his father, Onsi Sawiris.

Nassef Sawiris demonstrated an interest in his father’s business, the Orascom conglomerate, from a young age. This early exposure likely contributed to his later success in the business world.


 Onsi Sawiris with his three sons; Naguib, Nassef, and Samih,  discussing business plans ,Image credit ( Amwal Algad).

Nassef Sawiris’s role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) is  a pivotal one within the Orascom conglomerate. OCI is  a leading construction and engineering company, has a substantial presence both in Egypt and internationally. As CEO, Nassef Sawiris is responsible for overseeing the company’s construction projects, strategic direction, and overall operations in the construction and engineering sectors.

Nassef Sawiris has held various board memberships and director roles in prominent organizations. Notably, he has served as a board member of NASDAQ Dubai, Besix in Belgium, and NNS Holding in Luxembourg. Additionally, he has served as a director of Lafarge, a global leader in the building materials industry.

Mr Sawiris partnered with Eike Batista’s EBX Group to construct a plant for nitrogen fertilizer in Brazil. This partnership likely aimed to tap into the agricultural and fertilizer market in Brazil, which is a significant player in global agriculture.

In September 2021, Nassef Sawiris  announced plans to split Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) into two separate publicly traded companies—one focusing on construction and the other on fertilizer. This strategic move is often done to create focused and specialized entities that can better serve their respective industries and investors.

Egypt’s Orascom Construction  recently signed a $61.4 million contract with Eagle Hills Properties, a UAE-based real estate developer, to build the first phase of Soul Luxury Beach Resort in North Coast.

The agreement “signifies a commitment … in constructing and bringing to life parcels 3 and 4 (Flow – Breeze) within phase 1A of the resort, to be completed in 1,020 days,” according to Orascom’s statement on August 23,2023 .

His leadership and entrepreneurial skills have played a significant role in the success and growth of OCI. Under his guidance, the company has undertaken and completed numerous high-profile construction projects, contributing to its reputation as a leading player in the industry.

Nassef Sawiris holds significant stakes in Lafarge, a global leader in the building materials industry and  also has significant stakes in Texas Industries, which is involved in the construction materials industry.

Nassef Sawiris’s achievements, both within OCI and as a prominent business figure in Egypt, have earned him recognition as one of the most well-known personalities and wealthiest entrepreneurs in the country. His ability to navigate the complexities of the business world, adapt to changing market dynamics, and drive innovation within his family’s conglomerate has been instrumental in his personal and professional success.

Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens took over Aston Villa in 2018 to provide support for the club in its uncertain times and  have injected £20 million into the club through a new share issue, according to a news report by Football Insider with his net worth  increasing  significantly since he became the co-owner of English football club, Aston Villa.

According to CEO world magazine, Nassef Sawiris was the wealthiest person in Egypt, with an estimated net worth of 7.4 billion U.S. dollars, as of July 20, 2023.

         Nassef Sawiris and Partner take over Aston Villa, Image credit (

As part of his philanthropic deeds, he has given a  $24.1 million gift to the  University of Chicago trustee and College alumnus, which will support the education of Egyptian students through an expanded scholars program at the University and a new executive education program serving government officials and business leaders in Egypt.

Mr Sawiris’s  involvement in various other businesses and organizations, as mentioned underscores his influence and leadership in the business world. It’s worth noting that he has played a significant role in shaping Egypt’s business landscape and contributing to its economic development over the years.

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