Tanzania media mogul Reginald Mengi dies in Dubai


Reginald MengiImage copyright

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Reginald Mengi’s IPP group employs some 3,000 people

Tanzanian self-made media magnate and philanthropist Reginald Mengi has died in Dubai at the age of 75.

Mr Mengi, through his manufacturing, mining and media conglomerate IPP Group, owned newspapers and radio and TV stations. In 2014, Forbes estimated his wealth at $560m (£430m).

He was born into a poor family close to Mount Kilimanjaro and finished his education in Scotland.

President John Magufuli paid tribute to his role in the country’s development.

Mr Mengi initially worked as an accountant when he returned to Tanzania, but the origins of his business empire are in a ball-point pen assembly plant.

From the early 1980s he turned the IPP Group into one of the largest private conglomerates in East Africa, employing more than 3,000 people, according to the company website.

‘Changed lives’

Having amassed a large fortune, he became a noted philanthropist, including paying for the treatment of hundreds of Tanzanian children with heart conditions.

From the mid-1990s, through his media empire, Mr Mengi changed the lives of many in Tanzania, BBC Swahili’s Athuman Mtulya says.

With the country gradually changing from socialism, where media ownership was reserved for the state and ruling party, his outlets brought in a fresh approach to global news and entertainment, he says.


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