Top Banner

blank.gif (59 bytes)

June 14, 2011


blank.gif (59 bytes)

Profile: Najib Mikati, Lebanon's new prime minister

mikati_najib.gif (74846 bytes)Place and Date of Birth: Born in Triploi, north Lebanon, on November 24, 1955; Son of Azmi Mikati and Souad Abdallah Ghandour. Brother of Taha who helps him in his business works and philanthropic activities.

Sect: Sunnite

Marital status: Married to May Doumani, with three children Maher, Mira, and Malek, and two grand-children Najib and Najla.


  • 2004: Harvard University, Boston, USA, Innovations in Governance Executive Program.
  • 1994: INSEAD Fontainebleau, France, The AVIRA Program.
  • 1990: Harvard Business School Boston, USA, OPM 15, Owner/President Management Program.
  • 1980: American University of Beirut, Lebanon, M.B.A., Master's of Business Administration.
  • 1979 American University of Beirut, Lebanon, B.B.A., Bachelor of Business Administration.
  • 1975 Lycee Franco-Libanais Tripoli, Lebanon Baccalaureate, Experimental Sciences.
  • Political Status: Former prime minister, Tripoli MP.

Political career

  • Appointed Prime Minister on Tuesday, April 15, 2005.
  • Formed a 14-member cabinet on April 19, 2005, which expired with the election of the new parliament by Jun 2, 2005.
  • Minister of Public Works and Transport in Selim Hoss cabinet (December 4, 1998 - October 25, 2000).
  • Minister of Public Works and Transport in Hariri's fourth cabinet (October 26, 2000 - April 15, 2003).
  • Minister of Public Works and Transport in Hariri's fifth cabinet (April 17 2003 - October 26, 2004).
  • Elected Tripoli in 2000, reelected in 2009.
  • Nominated on Tuesday, January 26, 2011 to form Lebanon's new government with 68 voted against 60 votes for former PM Saad Hariri.
  • Formed Lebanon's new government on June 13, 2011 after four and a half months of delay

Activities and Affiliations

  • 1992-2000: Member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Lebanon. Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Lebanon.
  • 1994-1998: Member of the Executive Committee of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC, USA.
  • 1988-Present: Vice President of Azm W Saadeh Association - a philanthropic association - Tripoli, Lebanon.
  • Built at his expense the Madfoun Bridge in Northern Lebanon, which was destroyed during the Israeli air raids on Lebanon in July 2005.

Business Career

He is a founder of Mikati Communications Group, which includes Investcom, a leading Middle Eastern mobile phone company that has interests across the region. Mikati co-founded Investcom with his brother Taha in 1982, which has since grown into a telecommunications empire with significant investments in eight countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. He sold the company in June 2006 to South Africa's MTN Group for $5.5 billion. He remains involved with the company in his capacity as Vice Chairman. Forbes magazine has estimated his net worth at $2.5 billion, making him one of Lebanon's richest men. He ties for rank 374 on the Forbes list of billionaires with his brother and business partner Taha.
Political Career

As a parliamentarian and a politician, Mikati developed a reputation of being a moderately pro-Syrian politician with a good relationship with Syrian President Bashar Assad. He was a perennial candidate for Lebanon's Prime Ministry since 2000 before taking office in 2005 after the resignation of Omar Karami on 13 April 2005. In the negotiations to form a government, Mikati emerged as a consensus candidate. Despite his closeness to Syria, his willingness to compromise and his promise to dismiss the chiefs of the security forces, whom many Lebanese suspected of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on 14 February 2005, won him the support of the anti-Syrian opposition, against the strongly pro-Syrian Minister of Defense, Abdul Rahim Mourad. "We will be the symbol of moderation and national unity," Mikati declared after being sworn in at the Presidential palace in Baabda.

Mikati negan his political career in 1998, when he was elected for a seat in Tripoli, going on to become public works and transportation minister. He held the post in three consecutive cabinets until April 2005 when he was selected by President Emile Lahoud to succeed Omar Karami as prime minister. Karami was forced to step down following protests over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who was killed by a car bomb in February 2005.

At that time, Mikati headed a government of technocrats and steered the country through parliamentary elections, which brought an anti-Syrian majority into power after 30 years of Syrian dominance on Lebanese politics.

However, Mikati occupied the post for a mere 90 days, and was largely preoccupied with preparing the country for the next general election, held on May 31, 2005.

He stepped down as prime minister in favor of Fouad Sinora, after the March 14 coalition won the May 5 vote, securing 72 out of the 128 seats.

During his time in office in 2005 Mikati followed up international and local investigations conducted into Hariri's assassination and was responsible for allowing international monitors to observe the elections.

But Mikati's January 2011 nomination by the March 8 coalition to head the next government sparked a wave of protests across the country, with the Future Movement of caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri opposing his candidacy.

He announced his candidacy for the post late Sunday, January 23, 2011. Mikati was elected to Parliament again in 2009 as an ally of Hariri, fuelling fierce criticism from the March 14 camp about his nomination to stand as the March 8 candidate.

Although seen as pro-Syrian, Mikati was promoted as a consensus candidate. "We will be the symbol of moderation and national unity," Mikati told reporters following talks with President Michel Sleiman Monday, January 24, 2011.

A self-professed philanthropist, Mikati engages in a number of charitable activities. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at the American University of Beirut, and a senior member of the Dean's International Council at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Mikati is also credited for his involvement with the "Beirut Pact," a socio-economic project which planned to improve the developmental standards of the country, while bringing its various regions into closer economic parity with each other and attracting investment.

The Mikati family Azm wa Saade Association

Azm wa Saade is a Lebanese non governmental organization that was founded in 1988 by Telecom billionaires Taha and Najib Mikati.

They named the Association after their parents Azmi Taha Mikati and Souad Abdallah Ghandour, Azm wa Saade. In doing so, they intended to honor the proper significance of their parents forenames: Azmi for strong will and resolve, and Souad for well being and happiness.

Engaged in charitable work and development activities in Tripoli and throughout Lebanon, the Association's activities cover the fields of health, nutrition, social, educational, cultural and humanitarian services.

Main Objectives

Azm wa Saade objectives focus on the following:

  • Establishing specialized centers for various social services.
  • Strengthening communal values and civic identity.
  • Safeguarding the individual's intrinsic dignity and morals.


The Association provides comprehensive health services, with full medical assistance to the chronically ill. Similarly, it offers educational support through financial aid both at school and university levels. Its charitable work covers all activities, ranging from nutrition to clothing to specific and difficult social cases and issues. Environmental, cultural, and sports activities all feature equally in the Association's daily programs and practices.

The Association also propagates Islamic culture. Workshops teaching the Holy Koran, debates and dialogues on faith, religious publications of books and pamphlets, as well as the construction, restoration, and furbishing of mosques, all contribute to raising awareness of Islam and promulgating its unique values.

Urban development in the North of Lebanon is another main concern, where local communities benefit from the Association's continuing programs for both metropolitan and rural sectors. Infrastructure works, as well as the restoration of facades in traditional neighborhoods, and the rehabilitation of leisure and work areas help preserve the social fabric in the region.

Briefly speaking, the Association's main activities center on the following fields of Medical & Healthcare, Care for the Visually Impaired, Specialized Technology, Azm Youth, Academic Support & Development, Handicraft & Cultural Training, Technical Training, Development Projects, Schools Assistance, Eradicating Illiteracy Programs, Youth Care Programs, Religious Studies, Educational Grants & Scholarships, and the Tripoli Football Club

The Mikati Family Business Profile

The most general public knowledge of Najib Mikati, Lebanon's prime minister designate as of January 25, 2011, is that he made a fortune as a telecommunications entrepreneur.

He is a major shareholder in South Africa's telecom MTN Group, owns the M1 international investment holding group, the French fashion line Faconnable, and has major real estate investments.

Forbes magazine has estimated his net worth at $2.5 billion, making him one of Lebanon's richest men. He ties for rank 374 on the Forbes list of billionaires with his brother and business partner Taha, whose net worth stands at $2.5 billion,

The Mikati corporate family, with older brother Taha at the helm, began their success in a modest and traditional Lebanese industry - construction - but things started to take off in the 1980s, when the siblings invested in telecommunications and established Investcom Holding.

As the face of Investcom, Najib Mikati rose to prominence when the company became the junior partner to one of Europe's best known telecommunications firms, France Telecom. The joint venture, in which Investcom held one third, was in ownership of the incongruously named FTML, a Lebanese company that has been defunct for some years now. In its heyday, however, FTML operated the Cellis mobile phone network. It was an effective money-making machine and key enabler in Lebanese economic growth.

Investcom's value was estimated at $30 million by the late 1990s, according to information on the website of parent company, M1 Holding. By 2000, Investcom and its subsidiaries had projects across the Middle East and Africa, in Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Benin, Syria, Liberia and Yemen, with Cyprus added in 2003. A decade after the establishment of FTML, the Mikatis' telecommunications empire had expanded to five million subscribers in the Middle East and Africa.

Contact Information

Panorama Building, N. Kfoury St., Verdun, Ein El Tineh P.O.Box: 11-6876, Beirut, Lebanon. Tel:01-790111, 03-399997, 03-222828; Fax: 01-860503 Email:

Last Updated: June 13, 2011

back.gif (883 bytes)