Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Top 5 billionaires in Africa

Article from AFRIC Editorial
Almost all the poorest countries in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the continent is rich in natural resources: oil, gold and diamonds, and African countries are now enjoying the fastest rates of economic growth in the world. The "poorest continent" today has its own billionaires in dollars, and their numbers are growing.

In general, in the past year, the number of billionaires in dollars in Africa rose from 21 to 23 people and their total fortune from 70 to 74.5 billion dollars (according to Forbes magazine estimates). Most billionaires are South African citizens: eight South Africans to be more precise, six Egyptians, three Nigerians, two Moroccans and one representative from Algeria, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)

The owner of the Dangote Group products company. His business is not limited to Nigeria, Dangote has stores in Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania and Zambia.

Today, Dangote is the richest man in Africa and the richest black businessman. His fortune is estimated at $ 16.5 billion, which allows him to occupy the 72nd place (out of 500) in the world rankings. This list includes only six representatives from Africa.

It should be noted that Dangote has reached such heights by building a production company, and not by providing services or at the expense of a successful oil field. Some financiers point out that, unlike the wealthy young people of the new wave, who made their fortunes on high-tech digital services, they got rich in the real economy.

Among Dangote’s most recent projects is the construction of the continent’s largest oil refinery, which will become the fifth largest in the world and solve Nigeria’s long-standing problem. The country with the tenth largest oil reserve in the world is forced to buy gasoline and other petroleum products. Dangote is also building the largest fertilizer plant capable of producing record amounts of urea (a carbonic acid fertilizer).

Nassef Sawiris (Egypt)

With a fortune estimated at $ 12 billion, Nassef Sawiris is from Egypt. He is a graduate of the German School of Cairo and the University of Economics of Chicago. Vice-president of the company “Orsakom”, founded by his father in the fifties. At the beginning of 1990, the company was a major producer of cement. In addition, the Sawiris family continued to grow and invest in young companies around the world. At the end of 1995, under the leadership of Nassef, Oracask merged with Holkim, which was virtually a monopoly in the cement production sector. The result was a conglomerate of the Egyptian Cement Company, whose 54% stake is held by Nassef and his brother. Today, the Sawiris brothers produce at least 26 million tonnes of mortar a year, making it one of the largest suppliers of building materials on the world market.

Niki Oppenheimer (South Africa)

The third digit of the top 5 is the heir to the diamond empire Niki Oppenheimer of South Africa with a fortune of 7.7 billion dollars, which is at the head of one of the largest mining companies of diamonds in the world. Oppenheimer’s revenue was more than $ 6 billion in 2017. However, under new laws in South Africa, the company donates 26 percent of diamonds mined to the state. Without changes in South African laws, Oppenheimer would be the richest businessman in the world.

Oppenheimer is currently President of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company, whose operations include the mining, processing and cutting of diamonds. De Beers was founded by Ernest Oppenheimer, Nicky’s grandfather. He was the first president of this company of the Oppenheimer family.

Michael Adenuga (Nigeria)

The state is estimated at $ 5.8 billion and is the owner of Globacom, which holds a leading position among telecom operators in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin. In addition to its core business, Adenuga holds interests in the oil companies Conoil and Equitorias Trust Bank.

Michael’s father, Agbolad Adenuga, worked as a teacher at the school. His mother, Julianna, had royal roots and was engaged in business. Michael graduated from Ayetoro High School in Ibadan. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University, Oklahoma, and New York University. In early 1990, Michael Adenuga established an oil production company and obtained a license in the city of Ondo. In 1999, Adenuga decided to launch telecommunications and organized Globacom. Since then, the entrepreneur of the company shows a significant success. Since 2008, the company has been providing services in Ghana, Ivory Coast and other African cities.

Johann Rupert (South Africa)

The state is estimated at 4.7 billion dollars and holds the position of president of the Swiss company Richemont. The company’s business is related to the production of luxury goods. He is from the city of Stellenbosch in southern Africa. Johann’s father, Anton Rupert, was also an entrepreneur.

Rupert acquired his main experience in the business world in the United States, where he worked for several renowned companies for five years. Rupert developed  his father’s company, the Ramrandt group, where he occupied the post of CEO on his return in 1984 from the United States. This conglomerate has many known brands (Cartier, Chloé and others) and business projects.

Mosiiva Creek (Zimbabwe)

The first billionaire from Zimbabwe. He has made a fortune in mobile phone trading and telecommunication services throughout Africa. Zimbabwe is one of the poorest countries in the world and until recently, there was not a single Zimbabwean dollar billionaire. However, according to Forbes, telecommunications magnate Strive Maciiva has entered the classification of the richest people in Africa. His fortune is estimated at $ 1.7 billion.

Massiiva is the Chief Executive Officer and the largest shareholder of Econet Wireless, a mobile phone provider. The company also invests in the financial sector, insurance, e-commerce, renewable energy sources, education, etc. Among the other assets of Massiiva, there is a majority stake in Liquid Telecom, which provides optical and satellite fiber services to telecom companies throughout Africa, a part of the mobile network in Burundi and Lesotho, he also invests in fintech and distribution companies in Africa.

Sindika Dokolo (DR Congo)

One of the sons of the ex-banker of the DRC, Augustine Dokolo who in 2014, he left DR Congo forcibly. It holds a large portfolio of telecommunications shares (Unitel, the largest operator in Angola and Zon, Portugal’s second largest operator) and finance (Banco Internacional de Credit,BIC, Angola’s fourth largest bank). His wife is Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos.

Isabel dos Santos (Isabel dos Santos, Angola)

The richest woman in Africa. The “princess”, as the Angolans call her, is suspicious and hardworking. No interviews, very little public speaking. Like her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, she follows the famous saying “live happily, live in the dark” (“to live happily, live hidden”).

Forbes estimates the assets of the richest woman in Africa at $ 3 billion, while in Angola and, to a lesser extent, Portugal, Isabel is present in almost all sectors of the economy, including the oil sector. In June 2018, she was appointed head of the national oil company Sonangol.

The African continent is growing rapidly and the number of billionaires in dollars continues to grow. According to Sindik Dokolo, “the following oligarchs, as we see them in Russia, will come from our region” (The next oligarchs, such as about Russia, coming from our region.).

The Wealth-X study also revealed that billionaires have become less numerous and less wealthy globally. The Singapore-based research firm has identified 2604 billionaires worldwide in 2018, compared with 2,754 in 2017, a decrease of 5.4 percent. The cumulative wealth of these billionaires amounted to 8562 billion dollars in 2018 against 9205 billion in 2017 (-7%).

The study blames the decline in aggregate wealth of billionaires globally by trade tensions, the slowdown in economic growth and the collapse of stock markets at the end of the year.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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