Like many other people, you would like to forget the last two years. Not only did the global pandemic affect business and livelihood, but it also led to the loss of life. Despite the negative impact, African billionaires continued to thrive. In fact, some become richer than they were before.
According to the latest statistics, the worth of the top 18 billionaires rose to approximately $84.9 billion. The figure represents a 15% increase from a year ago.
Looking deeper into the statistics, the combined value of all billionaires in Africa is worth $4.7 billion. In 2014, they were worth $3.4 billion. So, who are these billionaires that are shaping the African continent?
At a Glance:
- Aliko Dangote -Net worth $13.9 B Manufacturing
- Johann Rupert – Net worth $11 B Fashion & Retail
- Nicky Oppenheimer – Net worth $8.7 B Metals & Mining
- Nassef Sawiris – Net worth $8.6 B Construction & Engineering
- Natie Kirsh -Net worth $7.68 billion
- Abdulsamad Rabiu – Net worth $7 B
- Mike Adenuga – Net worth $6.7 B
- Issad Rebrab – Net worth $5.1 B Food & Beverage
- Naguib Sawiris – Net worth $3.4 B Telecom
- Patrice Motsepe – Net worth $3.2 B Metals & Mining
1. Aliko Dangote – Net worth $13.9 B Manufacturing
It seems rather strange not to mention the ‘Dangote’ name regarding the wealthiest people on the continent. In fact, many celebrities and figures love using his name to showcase their financial muscle.
A good example is the celebrated Tanzanian musician Diamond Platinumz who uses the name quote often.
For the 11th year in a row, Alike Dangote has been the wealthiest man on the continent. And going from the latest trends, he will continue to occupy the top spot for a while.
Coming from a humble background, Dangote has continued to amass wealth over time. Currently, he is worth about $13.9 billion. This figure shows an increase of 30% since his net worth was $12.1 billion one year back.
Cement (Dangote cement) offers him the most worth. The improving housing sector in Nigeria, manufacturing and high steel demand also contributed to the growing fortunes.
Did you know that Dangote Flour Mills produces nearly 67% of Nigeria’s pasta and wheat flour?
Other companies include Benso Development Corporation, Geostar Engineering & Infrastructure Ltd, Port Harcourt Refinery Company, and National Fertilizers Industrial Co.
Dangote is a family man and has three daughters (Halima, Fatimah, and Mariyah) and an adopted son Abdurrahman Fasasi). The 64-year-old family man, life hasn’t been as smooth, considering he’s been divorced twice.
2. Johann Rupert – Net worth $11 billion Fashion & Retail
Johann Rupert is no stranger concerning Africa’s wealthiest people. His name features on the Forbes list regularly.
Twelve months ago, he was ranked 4th with an estimated worth of $ 7.2 billion. However, good fortune from Cartier watches and Montblanc pens maker, Compagnie Financiere Richemont, saw his shareholding rise by more than 60%.
The latest market data shows he is worth about $11 billion and is the second wealthiest person in Africa. Besides the luxury goods, Mr. Rupert enjoys good fortune from the retail sector.
John Rupert was born in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 1950. He comes from a wealthy family and is the richest man in South Africa. The wealth magnate has three children and is married to Gaynor Rupert.
Controversies have never been far from Mr. Rupert. In 2005, a British designer magazine described Afrikaans as one of the ugliest languages. He stopped all his companies (Van Cleef, Cartier, Montblanc, Arpels, and Alfred Dunhill) from advertising through the magazine to express disgust and contempt.
3. Nicky Oppenheimer – Net Worth $8.7 billion
While luck seemed to smile on other billionaires of Africa, Nicky Oppenheimer wasn’t as lucky. The South African entrepreneur lost the 2nd position to another South African man, Johann Rupert.
According to Forbes, he is currently worth an estimated $8.7 billion and holds the 3rd position in terms of Africans wealthiest people.
Nicky Oppenheimer sold his diamond mining company DeBeers to another mining firm, Anglo American, in 2011.
Oppenheimer’s fortune is held in different private equity investments spread out in Africa, the United States, Asia, and Europe. They are managed via Tana Africa Capital (Johannesburg) and Stockdale Street (London).
He was born on 8 June 1945 in South Africa. The businessman comes from a family of mining firms, and his father started mining firms. He is married to Orcilia Lasch and has one son, Jonathan Oppenheimer.
Like most rich folks, controversy never seems far from the firm. A report from BBC once described how crafty the mining firm was.
By finely polishing crystallized carbon, they managed to fool people that it was a precious diamond. The company’s underhand in illegal diamond mining has often received criticism.
4. Nassef Sawiris – Net worth: $8.6 B
The richest man in Egypt holds the 4th position in the top 10 wealthiest men in Africa. Nassef Sawiris has a net worth of $6.29 billion, and his main ventures are in the construction and engineering sectors.
Sawiris has a 30% stake in OCI N.V., a Dutch fertilizer producer. His company plays a leading role in providing fertilizer to Egyptians. The billionaire has a 6% stake in Adidas, one of the world’s top sportswear brands and manufacturers.
He comes from a wealthy Egyptian family and is one of 3 sons. Nasseff Onsi Sawiris was born on 19 January 1961 in Cairo, Egypt. He’s married to Sherine Sawiris and has four children.
An interesting fact about Sawiris is that he serves as the executive chairman of the English premier league club, Aston Villa.
And just like him, his siblings are also billionaires. He has a 5% stake in Madison Square Garden Sports, a New York-listed firm, and shares in the NHL Rangers team and NBA Knicks.
5. Natie Kirsh -Net worth $7.68 billion
With a Net worth: of $7.68 billion, Natie Kirsh holds the 5th position. The Emaswati national owns the Kirsh Group, actively involved in food processing and supply.
The firm holds the most significant shareholding (70%) in Jetro Holdings, a food supply company based in the United States. The firm owns Restaurant Depot Jetro Cash and Carry and deals with beverages and food items.
Like most wealthy individuals, he puts his assets in equity. However, the declining economy led to his net worth dropping by 7.2%, and thus lost more than $ 595 million in private equity investment. The decline, however, did little to dent his overall wealth.
Nathan “Natie” Kirsh was born in Potchefstroom, South Africa, on 6 July 1932. He is a Swazi national and is ranked as the 606th richest person globally. Mr. Kirsh is married to Frances Herr and has 3 children.
The billionaire is known for his humanitarian mission, and during the recent pandemic, his firm played a part in rolling out covid19 vaccination.
6. Abdul Samad Rabiu -Net worth $7.5 billion
Coming from Africa’s largest economy (GDP $480.48 billion), Abdul Samad Rabiu is the 6th wealthiest individual in the continent. He is a regular entrant like others on this list, and his wealth has grown despite the global pandemic.
The Nigerian national owns BUA, one of the fastest-growing conglomerates in Africa. His firm is involved in cement manufacturing and construction.
Mr. Rabiu holds a majority stake of 97%. Besides the cement making division, BUA also has a food processing and distribution arm, BUA Foods Plc.
The second-richest man in Nigeria was born on 4 August 1960 in Kano, Nigeria. His father was a pioneer industrialist and played a significant role in Mr. Rabiu’s business journey. He attended Capital University in Ohio, the US, at a very early age.
His return to Nigeria was mainly to oversee the family business after the government had detained his father for alleged failure to pay import duty on rice.
7. Mike Adenuga Net worth $6.7 billion
Holding the 7th position is Mike Adenuga. The Nigerian entrepreneur worth as of 2022 is $6.7 billion.
He founded Globacom Limited, one of the largest telecom companies in Nigeria and beyond. It’s the second-largest in the country and has operations in Benin and Ghana. He holds the majority shareholding in Globacom Limited.
The business guru also runs Conoil Plc, a major stakeholder in Nigeria’s petroleum mining and distribution sector.
Mike Adenuga was born on 29 April 1953in Ibadan, Nigeria. The entrepreneur is married to Adefolaka Emilia and Titi Joyce and has 7 children.
The businessman has received many accolades and awards from his homeland, Nigeria, and abroad.
Unlike many billionaires, Mr. Adenuga wasn’t born in riches. Unknown to many people, the third richest man in Nigeria once worked as a taxi driver. As an MBA student at Pace University, New York, he would operate a taxi to support himself. His enduring nature has borne fruit.
8. Issad Rebrab Net worth $5.1 billion
Issad Rebrab is the richest man in Algeria. In Africa, he holds the 8th position. The billionaire’s wealth comes from the sugar refinery.
He commands the majority shareholding in Cevital Group, producing more than 2 million tonnes of sugar every year. Cevital Group is the largest privately owned corporation in Algeria.
Mr. Regrab is not only the founder but also serves as the CEO. The business mogul has interests in agribusiness, food, electronics, and steel.
Cevital runs leading European companies such as Groupe Brandt, a French appliance maker, an Italian steel mill, and a water purification firm in Germany.
Issad Regrab was born in Tagumount Azzouz village, Algeria, on 27 May 1944. He is married and has 5 children.
In 2019, he was sentenced by an Algerian court for six months. The billionaire was accused of customs, banking, and tax offenses.
9. Naguib Sawiris – net worth$3.4 billion
Naguib Sawiris, just like his elder brother, Nassef Sawiris, ranks among the wealthiest persons in Africa. With a net worth of approximately $ 3.4 billion, he is the second-richest person in Egypt and the 9th richest in Africa.
The billionaire riches come from telecoms. He sold his vibrant telecommunications service, Orascom Telecom, to Version (formerly VimpelCom), a Russian company.
The deal went through in 2011 and made his billions. He holds a majority shareholding in ORA Developers, a real estate firm, and Orascom TMT Investments.
He is passionate about Egyptian history and culture. In 2021, through his firm, Orascom Investment, he pumped in $12.7 million to offer sound and lighting shows at Egypt’s Giza Pyramids.
The deal will see his company get 17% in returns from the project. As projected, the revenue will be at least $2.3 million annually.
Naguib Onsi Sawiris was born in Cairo, Egypt, on 15 July 1954. He is married to Ghada Gamil Sawiris, and they have 4 children.
10. Patrice Motsepe – Net worth $3.2 Billion
Patrice Motsepe completes the 10 wealthiest men in Africa list. The business mogul is worth $3.2 billion and engages in mining and metals.
Through his firm African Rainbow Minerals, he mines and sells different minerals. In addition to mining, he is also deeply involved in private equity through his firm African Rainbow Capital. Mr. Motsepe holds a stake in Sanlam, a financial services entity.
Mr. Motsepe enjoys football and is the owner and president of Mamelodi Sundowns, playing in the South African Premier League. In March of 2021, the billionaire was elected president of CAF (Confederation of African Football).
Before venturing into mining, he was a partner at Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg, South Africa. Later on, he would purchase low-volume gold mine shafts and turn them around to become more productive and profitable.
Motsepe was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on 28 January 1962. He is married to Dr. Precious Moloi, a fashion entrepreneur and physician, and they have 3 children.
Many people don’t know that he is South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law.
While covid19 was dealing a blow to the global economy, Africa’s wealthiest individuals were not feeling its effect. As a matter of fact, they seemed to be doing pretty well.
Studies show that out of the previous18 billionaires from the region, only 2 individuals experienced a downward trend regarding their wealth.
South Africa’s Koos Bekker saw his worth drop from $2.8 billion to $2.7 billion. Tanzania’s Mohammed Dewji’s fortune took a dip from $1.6 billion to $1.5 billion.
The billionaires come from South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, and Algeria. Angola had the richest billionaire woman in Africa. However, illegal government deals, corruption, and nepotism saw Angola’s Isabel dos Santos lose her worth and favor.