By Isaac Blessings
Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa with a Gross Domestic Product of US$70.5 Billion. Statistics reveal that less than 0.1% of Kenya’s population (8,300 people) control the GDP of the country. There are 42 billionaires in Kenya worth over Ksh 3 billion each, most of it being family wealth. In this article, we highlight some of the richest families in Kenya as of 2022.
The Kenyatta family is considered Kenya’s richest family. The family’s acquisitions began in the late 1960s when the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta became the first president of the republic of Kenya. Kenyatta acquired vast land from the European settlers who were fleeing back to their countries and by 1978, he had acquired over 115,000 acres of land. He didn’t stop there, he continued acquiring land and as of January 2022, the family owns over 500,000 acres of land spread out across the country. The family has invested heavily in the hotel industry with over 10 hotels including the prestigious Voyageur Beach Resort. Companies owned by the Kenyatta’s include MediaMax Limited, Brookside Dairies Limited, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Timsales Holdings, Enke Investment Limited, Peponi School and Chartis Insurance. The family is also in the final stages of completing plans of building Northland City in their 11,576 acre farm. The family has a net worth of over US$700 Million as of 2022.
Also Read: Net Worth Of The Kenyattas’ Family
The Late Daniel Moi was the second president of the republic of Kenya. The family acquired vast wealth over the 27 years Moi was at the helm of the leadership of the country. The family has invested in the agriculture, construction, media, banking and manufacturing sectors. Some of the companies owned by the family include Standard Media group, Cut Tobacco Limited, Eveready Company, Giant Forex Bureau, Siginon Freight, Eagle airlines, Chesco Limited and Metipso Services limited among others. The family also owns large acres of land spread out across the country and properties in London, South Africa and Dubai. The family’s net worth is estimated to be over 500 million US Dollars.
S.K Macharia Family
Dr. S.K Macharia is the owner of the prestigious Royal Media Services – the largest media house in Eastern Africa owning over 13 radio stations and 4 TV Stations. The media outlet also owns the most watched TV Station – Citizen TV and Kenya’s favorite Radio station – Radio Citizen. He also owns Viusasa – a Kenyan VOD platform offering entertainment and information video content in the digital space. Apart from being in the media, the family also has interests in Real estate, agriculture, transport and banking fields. The family has an estimated net worth of over US$ 150 million.
Nicholas Biwott was the most powerful minister during the late President Moi’s government. He invested heavily in the real estate, mining, tourism, energy, aviation, construction, agriculture and telecommunications sectors that made him join the billionaires’ club before his untimely death in 2014. It is reported to have left behind over 35 companies including Livia Estate, the famous Yaya center, a big ranch in Australia and the largest hostels in Israel. The family currently has an estimated net worth of Ksh 1 billion.
Chris Kirubi Family
The late Chris Kirubi was a renowned businessman, entrepreneur and founder of Centum investment Company. Centum Investment Company is one of the biggest and most successful companies in Kenya owning Two Rivers Mall which is apparently the biggest mall in East Africa. He also owned Media outlet – Capital FM and very many shares in both DHL Kenya and Tiger Haco industries. After his untimely death in 2020, Kirubi left behind over 40 residential and commercial buildings worth US$200 Million. The family was recently ranked in the top 40 richest families in Africa with a net worth of over US$300 Million.
Bhimji Shah Family
Bhimji Shah is a Kenyan entrepreneur, businessman and industrialist. He is among the list of top 50 richest men in Kenya with a net worth of over Ksh 3 billion. He is the founder of the famous Bidco Africa Group which has employed over 5,000 people who work in different companies. In 2019, the Bidco group launched an industrial park in Kiambu worth over $200 million. The industrial park mainly focuses on beverage and food processing operations. The Bhimji family was ranked number 31 in the list of richest families in Africa released in 2015.
Philip Ndegwa Family
The Late Philip Ndegwa was the second governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). He was also the Chairman of NIC Group which later merged together with CBA Bank to form NCBA Bank which is currently owned by the Kenyatta’s family. He is said to be the first person in Kenya to bank over one billion shillings. After he passed on, his family took charge of the entire properties left behind and began to expand them. The family now has shares in ICEA Lion Insurance, Am bank and owns the Riverside park estate. They also own three tea estates and several tea processing factories in the Mt Kenya region. The family has an estimated net worth of around Ksh 1.2 Billion.
William Ruto Family
William Ruto is the current Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya. The man popularly known as ‘Hustler’ started his journey with rearing chicken in his home village of Sugoi. He has risen to become one of the wealthiest persons in Kenya with investments in the hotel, agriculture, aviation and real estate industries. The family owns Weston hotel, 680 hotel, Amaco insurance, Oseng Properties and Orterter Enterprises among others. They own choppers worth 2.5 billion and control a majority of shares at the MediaMax limited – a station owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The family has an estimated net worth of around Ksh 25 billion.
Raila Odinga Family
Raila Odinga is a seasoned politician and a presidential candidate in the 2022 general elections. He is the son of Kenya’s first Vice President and has acquired immense wealth since the pre-colonial period. The family owns different companies including Pan African Petroleum Industries, East African Spectre Company which manufactures liquid petroleum and gas cylinders and Kisumu Molasses Factory. They also own over 932 acres of land and multi-million properties in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nyanza. The family has a net worth of over Ksh 2.5 billion.
Simeon Nyachae Family
The late Simeon Nyachae was the former minister for energy during the President Kibaki government. This man whom little is known about was named by Forbes in the list of the richest families in Africa. He is a successful businessman and entrepreneur with interests in large scale farming, aviation, real estate and insurance sectors. The family owns large tea farms in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe whereby they process and export the tea to Europe. He also invested in insurance through Kenendia limited and owned a big dairy farming ranch in Australia. He left behind properties and investments worth 100 million us dollars thus making the family one of the richest in Kenya.