Tanzania: How Mufuruki Touched Lives in Various Spheres

Dar es Salaam — If you had not physically come into contact with prominent businessman Ali Mufuruki who died on Sunday in South Africa, probably you have used a service or two provided by one of his investments without knowing.

Mufuruki invested in different economic sectors both in and outside Tanzania and so his impact.

Through his Infotech Investment Group, he ventured into information technology, real estate development, retail business and as well as manufacturing.

It was not immediately established how many people were employed by Mufuruki's companies in all sectors he invested in.

For shoppers, one might have gone to Woolworths stores at Mlimani City and the PPF Tower Building in Dar es Salaam.

The retail outlet is Mufuruki's investment which was launched in 1999 in Tanzania and Uganda as a franchise of Woolworths of South Africa.

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In the entertainment circle, Mufuruki was not left out. Through his investment in Wananchi Cables, he provided services such as pay-TV and Zuku is a common name to many users.

Mufuruki's family owned Infotech Investment Group Limited has controlling interests in M&M Communications Limited, a leading advertising agency in Tanzania.

For media consumers, some of the adverts in the newspapers, magazines, radio and television you encounter, might have been designed and prepared by Mufuruki's company.

The group of companies is also involved in computer and telecoms services. For instance, he owned internet service provider SimbaNet which provides internet services to different customers - corporate and small and medium-sized enterprises.

As you use internet services subscribed by your office, you might be using one of the services provided by Mufurki's company.

Infotech Place which is one of the Infotech Investment Group real estate development projects. The other development projects in the real estate portfolio include the Infotech Plaza building in Geita, Infotech Square Building in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam as well as other projects currently on the drawing board.

Mr Mufuruki's dream was to make a difference especially by impacting on people's lives. In 1987, he left Germany's Daimler-Benz where he was employed as engineer after realizing that his contribution to making cars was minimal.

He joined the state-run National Engineering Company but two years later, he resigned from his position to explore opportunities in the private sector in early 1989.

His impact on society is witnessed by different people and organisations from within and outside Tanzania.

To others, Mr Mufuruki directly affected them through his speeches delivered in major events and in colleges. He was considered as a mentor and inspirational speaker by others.

And that could be testified by eulogies posted by different individuals and institutions through twitter hashtag #RIPAliMufuruki.

"We have a lost a world class entrepreneur who was a role model and inspirational to thousands young entrepreneurs in Tanzania. Gone too soon brother," twitted Aisa Nkya Muya, head of programmes at Amref Health Africa Tanzania.

"Rest in Peace Ali, you will be missed. Always ready to listen, always ready to guide, always ready to help," twitted Ms Faraja Nyalandu, former Miss Tanzania.

In the African continent, Mufuruki was viewed as has positively supported search for solutions to problems facing the continent.

One of his focus was on the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

"Ali Mufuruki was a great proponent of the AfCFTA. Here he is giving a keynote address as a representative of the private sector at a recent AfCFTA forum in Addis Ababa. And two weeks ago in Abidjan on innovation in the #Land Sector," twitted the Addis Ababa-based United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

And to show Mufuruki's importance in Tanzania, the family said yesterday that the public will have a chance to pay their last respect.

His body was expected to arrive yesterday from South Africa where he died.

The body of the tycoon and boardroom guru will be taken to Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in the city where relatives, friends and other mourners will gather.

"For now, this is all we have as we wait for Mufuruki's wife and children to come from Canada. The family will later update the public on where and when he will be laid to rest," said Mufuruki's uncle, Mr Ismail Mufuruki.

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