Reginal Mengi Orbitual – Biography, Activism, Book and More

Reginald Mengi Orbitual – Biography, Activism, Book and More

Reginald Mengi Humble Beginnings

Reginald Mengi Abraham was born into a family that wasn’t well-to-do in Northern Tanzania and grew up in a mud home shared with chickens, goats, sheep, and cows. He ate one meal a day, sometimes none at all, and went barefoot to school. Despite these conditions, he was able to study accountancy and articles with Cooper Brothers in the United Kingdom, and after becoming a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, he returned to Tanzania in 1971 and was hired by the accounting company Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania. He remained at Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) until September 1989, when he was appointed Chairman and Managing Partner. Dr. Reginald Mengi retired from Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania in October 1989 to focus on his own ventures. Today, his principal company IPP Media Limited and its related firms are among Tanzania’s biggest private enterprises.

Dr. Reginald Mengi’s Honors and Awards

Dr. Reginald Mengi has earned various international and national honors in appreciation of his charitable efforts and continuous devotion to the battle against social injustice throughout the years.

International Honors

The 2012 Business for Peace Award

Lifetime Achievement Award for Non-Governmental Organizations from the United Nations.

The Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Award ( 2008)

Environmental Leadership Award

Honorary Doctor of Humanity Degree Award ( 2012)

Environmental Leadership Award

The International Order of the Lions Award (2014)

Award for Business Leader of the Year

National Honors and Awards

Dr. Reginald Mengi has earned several accolades in Tanzania from both government and non-government organizations in recognition of his services to the nation and society.

Trophy of commendation from Command and Staff College

Caring and Valuing the Community

Order Of The United Republic of Tanzania

Trophy of commendation from Command and Staff College

Tuzo ya Jamii

Certificate of Appreciation for Service and Cooperation,

Trophy of Appreciation

Tuzo ya Jamii

Public Appreciation

Rombo Development Trust Fund Certificate of Appreciation – 2003

Certificate of Appreciation from Arusha Women Development Initiative Support – 2004

Certificate of Appreciation from the Registered Trustees of the Community Development Services (RTCDS) – 2004

Certificate of Appreciation from Arusha Women Development Initiative Support – 2004

Command and Staff College – Arusha Appreciation Trophy in 200

Msama Promotions – Trophy for High Respect Award in 2007

Token from Africa Development Bank for Support and Dedication to Society

Certificate from Tanzania Institute of Media Education (TIME) for Creativity

Japan Bible Institute conferred a Doctor of Humanity degree on March 10, 2012.

Support for the Uhuru Torch Ceremony in 1996

Certificate of Appreciation for 1996–97 contribution to the International Association of Lions Clubs

Certificate of Appreciation for Service and Cooperation from the Tanzania Muslim Hajj Trust in

Founder Benefactor of the University of Dodoma – Certificate of Appreciation – 2005

Certificate of support for National Disabled Sports Day – 2000

Mzee Rashid Kawawa, then National Chief Commander of CCM Youth, and Hon. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, then Commander of CCM Youth Coast Region, awarded him a joint certificate of appreciation for his support of the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Walk in 2001.

Government Service

Dr. Reginald Mengi has held a variety of public service posts during his career, including:

  1. Director, Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC); this is an institution founded under the Commonwealth of Nations Charter. The company’s headquarters are in London. Dr. Mengi was elected to its Board of Directors in 1998 and has served in that capacity ever since.
  2. Chairman of the Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT): This is an association that represents Tanzanian media owners. Dr. Mengi was elected Chairman in 2003 and has served in that capacity ever since.
  3. Chairman of the People with Disabilities Trust Fund

Dr. Reginald Mengi has served as Chairman of this non-governmental organization (NGO) that raises funding for individuals with disabilities since 1992.

4. Member of the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC)

Dr. Reginald Mengi was appointed to the TNBC in May 2007 and has served in that capacity ever since.

5. Chairperson, Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) Economic Empowerment Working Group: The TNBC is a public/private sector initiative established to serve as a forum for public-private sector dialogue on strategic direction for promoting investments, accelerating economic growth, and eradicating poverty. The Working Groups are really think tanks comprised of specialists who provide advice on a variety of subjects. Dr. Mengi was selected by the TNBC Chairman, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to lead one of these working groups tasked with developing practical strategies for empowering Tanzanian enterprises, particularly SMEs, in May 2007. Since then, Dr. Mengi has served as its chairman.

6. Tanzanian member of the International Investors Round Table

Dr. Reginald Mengi was asked to join this group, which was founded by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania with the declared goal of stimulating foreign investment. The Roundtable Committee makes recommendations to the Tanzanian government, which have had a significant impact on Tanzania’s foreign investment strategy.

Reginald Mengi shaking hands with President Magufuli
Reginald Mengi shaking hands with President Magufuli

7. Chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Enterprises (CTI): Dr. Mengi served as Chairman of the CTI, an umbrella group representing Tanzania’s private sector industries, from 2005 to 2009.

8. Tanzania HIV/AIDS Commission (TACAIDS) Commissioner: This is a legislative Commission that was formed in 2001 to develop and execute a coordinated response to HIV and AIDS. The Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania appoints its Commissioners, and Dr. Mengi served as one from 2002 until 2009.

9. Chairman of the East African Business Council (EABC) The East African Community is an economic and administrative union comprising Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi (the Partner States). The EABC was formed with the main goal of developing a common regional business agenda and advising Partner States on issues affecting business and economic growth in the area. Members of the organization are drawn from enterprises in the Partner States. Dr. Mengi was chosen as its Chairman for 2008. The organization’s headquarters are in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.

10. Chairman of the ICC Tanzania (a National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce) From 2000 through 2007, Dr. Mengi served as the organization’s chairman.

11. Chairman of Tanzania’s National Environment Management Council (NEMC)

The NEMC is a legally mandated independent agency tasked with environmental regulation. Dr. Reginald Mengi was selected by Tanzania’s President to lead this committee for three consecutive periods of three years each, from 1997 to 2006.

12. Board Director, Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD)International. LEAD International is a Rockefeller Foundation program founded in 1991 with the goal of teaching chosen mid-career professionals about environmental and development problems. Dr. Mengi was unanimously chosen as a director in May 2000 and served until his resignation in 2003.

13. National Board of Accountants and Auditors (NBAA) Chairman: The NBAA is Tanzania’s statutory organization for all accountants and auditors. Dr. Reginald Mengi was named Chairman of the United Republic of Tanzania by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania in 1984, and he was reappointed such that he finally maintained this position for four consecutive terms of four years each until 2000.

14. Chairman, Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) Tanzania Chapter: Dr. Mengi served as the organization’s chairman from 1997 to 1999.

15. Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited Board of Directors Chairperson: This corporation owns and publishes the government newspapers Daily News and Habari Leo. Before retiring, Dr. Mengi was named Chairman of its Board of Directors.

16. Salaries Review Commission Commissioner: In the 1980s, Tanzania’s late first President, Julius Nyerere, established this commission to advise the government on salaries.

Reginald Mengi’s Education

Dr. Reginald Mengi’s efforts in this area over the last three decades have included establishing scholarships to encourage students to do well in their studies and to assist those who do well but are unable to pursue further studies due to financial constraints, as well as funding schools that target disadvantaged sections of the community. Dr. Mengi, for example, has contributed to the operation of a boarding secondary school for the young girls of Masaai nomads who previously had no access to education and were doomed to become child mothers living in poverty. Hundreds of people have been educated, and some of those who passed have gone on to university study thanks to a scholarship program he funds. Dr. Reginald Mengi, as a United Nations World Food Programme “End Hunger” Ambassador in Tanzania, has also successfully promoted a national initiative to deliver free lunches to schoolchildren. This has resulted in increased school enrollment and attendance.

Health

Dr. Reginald Mengi has participated in several health efforts, including openly advocating for the use of condoms as a means of combating the spread of AIDS, despite criticism and hostility from many sectors of society, including the Christian denominations. He has also been actively involved in the battle against fistula, a relatively unknown health issue. This disease has now come to the forefront of public consciousness. Dr. Reginald Mengi, on the other hand, is arguably best known for his sponsorship of young children undergoing life-saving heart surgery in India. Dr. Mengi led a Charity Walk inside Moshi municipality in 2011 to generate cash for the polio eradication campaign, and he gave 50 million/= to the cause. He gifted a Bajaj to Elimringi Ngowi, a physically handicapped individual.

Environment Efforts by Reginald Mengi

Reginald Mengi’s conservation efforts have included establishing and sponsoring a drive to reforest Mount Kilimanjaro in order to counteract the melting of its famed snowcap as a result of global warming and deforestation. This program, which he has supported from its inception in 1987, has resulted in the planting of nearly twenty-four million trees on the mountain‘s slopes.

Tolerance for Different Religions

Tanzania needs religious tolerance in order to grow. Reginald Mengi Abraham has been fighting for it both publicly and privately for many years. Over the years, he’s been involved in the growth efforts of several religious organizations in the nation.

Aid to Physically Challenged Individuals

For many years, Dr. Reginald Mengi has devoted his time and resources to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of society, particularly those with disabilities. As a consequence, he has continuously engaged in the establishment of development programs focusing on persons with disabilities and has spoken out against the injustice they suffer. For example, he was one of the first people to openly criticize the horrific practice of assaulting and mutilating the limbs of Albinos, and he played an important role in raising public awareness of this atrocity and encouraging the government to take it more seriously. Another example is the pot lucks he has been organizing for individuals with disabilities for the past 18 years. These yearly gatherings, attended by over 5,000 people, have become an important venue for raising awareness of the issues that individuals with disabilities confront. Under the Same Sun asked Reginald Mengi to be present at the inauguration ceremony of the Tanzania branch office in Mikocheni in 2009.

Advocate for Justice and Transparency

Dr. Reginald Mengi’s credo has always been that we all have a moral role to uncover and combat social injustice, and he has been an outspoken advocate against social injustice, particularly corruption. In this regard, he has used every opportunity to condemn corruption and those who perpetrate it at public rallies, public events, and press conferences, as well as to organize and participate in symposiums, meetings, and conferences to debate and sensitize the public about corruption and social injustice. Dr. Reginald Mengi went even further in March 2005, launching two investigative publications, ThisDay (English) and Kulikoni (Kiswahili), with the main goal of exposing social injustice and corruption. These publications have had a major effect on Tanzania’s struggle against social inequality. In 2011, he gave 100 million/- to Chama Cha Wafungwa Wastafu Mkoa wa Kilimanjaro after counseling them to change and enjoy a dignified life via business. The funds were sent via the ELCT Northern Diocese account.

Poverty Abolition

For many years, he has funded youth and women-led economic organizations, as well as community development programs, via a variety of grass-roots initiatives, such as Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOS) and Village Community Banks and Savings.

Dr. Reginald Mengi gave 100 million/= to VICOBA’s revolving fund on March 31, 2012, during a VICOBA celebration at its headquarters in Sinza.

Reginald Mengi Foundations

The Rodnye Mutie Foundation

Dr. Reginald Mengi Persons with Disabilities

Book

It is the first book of its sort in Africa, masterfully and astutely capturing how Tanzania’s complex and evolving political-economic dynamics have influenced the entrepreneurial spirit over the last four decades, as well as what it takes to struggle for corporate success.

Past President of the Society for International Development, Ambassador Juma V. Mwapachu

“His life path from poverty to riches is a striking testimonial to the wide social and economic advantages of highly successful entrepreneurship, all the more so since Mengi embarked on his trip in an Africa that is still in the process of developing the social, political, economic, and educational infrastructure for such enormous entrepreneurial success.”

Former Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Daniel Isenberg.

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