Tanzania billionaire Ali Mufuruki dies in South Africa
Johannesburg - A Tanzanian billionaire and chairman for Infotech Investment Group, Ali Mufuruki, has died in Johannesburg, South Africa where he was undergoing treatment.
Mufuruki, who founded CEO Roundtable of Tanzania (CEOrt) and Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa, died on Saturday night, CEOrt chairman Sanjay Rughani confirmed in a tweet on Sunday.
The accomplished entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist succumbed to a short illness in a South African hospital where he was briefly admitted on Saturday.
“Dear board members: This is news I would never have wanted to break to you but our dear friend Ali Mufuruki passed on last night at Morningside Hospital, Johannesburg in South Africa," Rughani wrote.
Tanzanian media says Mufuruki fell ill and was admitted in a Dar es Salaam hospital. Thereafter, the family airlifted him to Johannesburg on Saturday.
Born in 1958, Kagera Tanzania, the business mogul graduated with an engineering degree from Germany, partly explaining his interest in technology.
Recently, Forbes magazine ranked him as one of the richest men in Tanzania, with his net worth estimated at $110 million.
In his tweet, Rughani said, "our continent and the world have today lost an incredible visionary leader who played many roles and impacted many lives."
East Africa Business Investment team on Sunday said it was "deeply saddened to hear the loss of a business partner, philanthropist and Panafrican champion".
The business body added in a tweet, "Our prayers, solidarity, and sympathy are with his family, friend, and the entire EAC Private Sector."
Besides serving in his company, Mufuruki was a key member of various economic organizations both within and outside Tanzania.
He was also chairman of Vodacom Tanzania and Wananchi Group Holdings. Further, served as a trustee of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies.
His death comes barely six months after the demise of Reginald Mengi, another entrepreneur who passed on in May while undergoing treatment in Dubai.
The two are credited for outstanding services in Tanzania ranging from fixing the economy and development of education framework.
Lately, Tanzania has been flagged by United Nations following cases of alleged suppression targeting critics, a claim which President John Magufuli has often denied.
Mufuruki is also said to have been a key figure in Tanzania's would be Standard Gauge Railway, which will connect the country with Burundi and DR Congo.