Home » 7 companies owned by Tanzania’s first billionaire Rostam Aziz

7 companies owned by Tanzania’s first billionaire Rostam Aziz

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Rostam Aziz

Rostam Aziz, a prominent Tanzanian billionaire, has garnered attention for his extensive business empire, encompassing various industries. Although he has chosen to keep the specifics of his fortune undisclosed, Aziz’s wealth remains one of the largest in East Africa.

Renowned for his involvement with Vodacom Tanzania, the nation’s leading mobile telecom company, Aziz’s business acumen and strategic investment decisions have solidified his standing in the region.

Aziz, 58, made history in 2013 when Forbes recognized him as the first Tanzanian to achieve a billion-dollar fortune. Despite opting out of subsequent rankings due to his preference for privacy, his influence and financial prowess continue to make waves.

The businessman’s association with Vodacom Tanzania is a prominent part of his legacy. He played a crucial role in facilitating Vodacom South Africa’s entry into the Tanzanian market. At one point, Aziz owned an estimated 35-percent stake in the company, demonstrating his ability to seize and capitalize on opportunities.

In 2014 and 2019, he strategically divested his shares in two installments, reaping approximately $500 million from the transactions. This astute move underscored Aziz’s shrewd investment decisions and further solidified his reputation as a savvy entrepreneur.

Having shifted his focus away from Vodacom Tanzania, Aziz now concentrates on managing his billion-dollar empire through Selous LLC, his Dubai-based single-family office. While the full scope of his holdings remains undisclosed, Billionaires.Africa has identified and tracked seven notable companies owned by Aziz:

  1. Caspian Mining Limited: Caspian Mining Limited, owned by Aziz, is a Tanzanian company established in 1987. Initially focusing on civils and earth-moving projects in Mbeya, it has now become the largest indigenous civils and mining contracting business in Tanzania. The company serves major mining firms in the country.
  1. Coastal Aviation: In September 2022, Aziz acquired a 51-percent stake in Coastal Aviation, an inbound operator that offers personalized safaris and air charters for the tourism market. The company’s fleet comprises ten Cessna Grand Caravan 208B and five PC-12s.
  1. MIC Tanzania Plc: In 2022, Aziz made a comeback to the telecom industry by teaming up with Axian Group, led by wealthy entrepreneur Hassanein Hiridjee, to purchase MIC Tanzania Public Limited Company. This acquisition granted Aziz partial ownership of two significant telecom assets: Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel), the sole integrated service provider in Tanzania offering International Gateway, Fixed, mobile, and data services, and Tigo Tanzania, a mobile network operator serving over 13 million customers.
  1. New Habari Limited: Aziz maintains an active business interest in the media industry through New Habari Limited, a major media company in Tanzania. The company owns and manages influential Swahili newspapers like Mtanzania, The African, Bingwa, Dimba, and Rai. Aziz maintains control of the company through proxies, Gulam Abdulrasul Chakkar and Hassan Haydar Omar.
  1. Taifa Gas: Aziz is a prominent figure in the East African oil and gas industry due to his involvement with Taifa Gas, the leading LPG distributor in East Africa. At the helm of Taifa Gas, he has propelled its growth, establishing it as a major player in the region’s energy sector. Taifa Gas possesses Tanzania’s largest storage facility, capable of holding 7,450 metric tonnes, and it exports LPG to nearby countries in East Africa, including Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.
  1. Taifa Leather Tanzania: Taifa Leather Tanzania, previously ACE Leather Tanzania Limited, is Tanzania’s largest leather goods processor. With a $25-million factory in Morogoro, located in the country’s eastern region, it processes 5,000 cow hides daily. The company is part of Aziz’s portfolio of businesses.
  1. Taifa Mining and Civils Limited: Taifa Mining and Civils Limited, a Tanzanian contract mining company, is owned by billionaire Aziz. With more than 30 years of mining expertise, Taifa Mining is Tanzania’s biggest mining contractor and has strong partnerships with industry leaders like Petra, De Beers, Barrick, and AngloGold Ashanti.

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