KAMPALA: Tanzanian billionaire, and one of East Africa’s enterprising minds,, author and philanthropist Reginald Mengi has died aged 75, leaving the East African Community (EAC) citizens in tears.
Two of his media outlets, ITV and Radio ONE, on Thursday morning confirmed that Mr Mengi, the chairman of Confederation of Tanzania Industries, IPP Gold Ltd, passed on in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The author of the book I Can, I Must, I Will, is one of the richest people in Tanzania.
The autobiography will hit the shelves in July.
He was born in 1944 in Kilimanjaro and was the chairman of Media Owners Association of Tanzania and Handeni Gold, Inc.
Through IPP, Mr Mengi set up the IPP Media empire that mainly serve Tanzania and parts of East Africa.
The media group owns ITV, East Africa TV, Capital TV, Radio One, East Africa Radio, and Capital FM.
Besides media, IPP has interests in Coca-Cola bottling, mining and consumer goods.
He is also the owner of printing company, The Guardian Limited that publishes the Guardian, Nipashe and Alaska magazines.
His death comes five months after he announced investments in IPP Automobile, a car assembly plant, and the mobile phone sector.
In November, the billionaire signed a deal with a South Korean firm to establish a vehicle assembly plant at Kurasini by September 2019.
According to a report by The EastAfrican, the $10 million plant is a joint venture between with IPP Automobile Company Ltd and Youngsan Glonet Corporation.
The carmaker is targeting buyers in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi is expected to assemble around 1,000 vehicles per year and employ more than 1,000 people.
“The industry will start to operate from September 2019, will include assembling functions will begin with three types of vehicles ranging from, commercial and construction trucks, buses and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV),” he said in November 2018.
Forbes reports that IPP Automobile has already begun importing parts for the assembly of Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo cars.
Mr Mengi came to limelight in early 1990s when he set up consumer goods factories and one of the earliest television stations in Tanzania.
The man who weathered the tough media environment in Tanzania to set up a print and broadcast empire is known to empower vulnerable groups in the East African country.