NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – Tanzanian business tycoon and philanthropist Reginald Mengi, who headed one of Africa’s largest media groups, has died aged 75 in Dubai, his news outlets reported Thursday.
“We are sorry to announce the death of the executive chairman of IPP Group of Companies, Dr Reginald Mengi,” in Dubai on Wednesday evening, Tanzania’s Guardian website reported.
Mengi was born in 1944 to a poor family in the Kilimanjaro region, later setting up the IPP media empire which served Tanzania and parts of East Africa, owning 11 newspapers, radio, and television stations, according to Forbes magazine.
He also had companies producing soap, the largest brand of bottled water in the country, and was involved in mining gold, uranium, copper, chrome and coal.
In 2014 he was listed among Africa’s 50th richest people by Forbes, although he later dropped off the list, and his fortune is estimated at $560 million (500 million euros).
“I am saddened by news of Mengi’s death, I will always remember his contribution to the development of our country and his vision laid down in his book, ‘I can, I will, I must’,” wrote President John Magufuli on Twitter.
Mengi was also a renowned philanthropist who sent hundreds of Tanzanian children with heart ailments to be treated in India.