In 2021, Forbes Magazine reported a total of 18 billionaires in the African Continent. Their total wealth put together totalled to $73.8 billion (approximately Ksh7.97 trillion). This was an increase from $73.4 billion (Ksh7.92 trillion) in 2020 from an aggregate of 20 billionaires.
According to the publication the total worth of the 18 billionaire represented a $4.1 billion average and 12 per cent increase from a similar period in 2020.
The richest people in Africa were spread across seven countries: Five each from South Africa and Egypt, three from Nigeria and two from Morocco.
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Two individuals fell off the list in 2021, both two of Africa’s richest women. Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija who owns an oil exploration company fell below the $1 billion mark due to the low oil prices. Angola’s Isabel dos Santos who was the richest woman in Africa since 2013, was knocked of the list after the court freezed her assets in Angola and Portugal.
In January 2020, Angola’s attorney general charged Dos Santos with embezzlement and money laundering.
Forbes Magazine ranked the billionaires and assets based on their primary holdings or businesses and interests on the African continent.
This criteria resulted in the exclusion of Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim who resides in London and Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed who is also based in the UK.
For the tenth year in a row, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote was ranked as Africa’s richest man with a net worth of $12.1 billion (Ksh1.3 trillion). His wealth increased by $2 billion from 2020.
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The rise was occasioned by the 30 per cent increase in the Dangote Cement share prices. This is by far his best and major investment.
The 63 year-old billionaire has his major investments in the manufacturing industry, majorly in cement and sugar.
He is the founder and chair of Dangote Cement. He holds an 85 per cent stake in the entity through a holding company. The company reportedly produces 45.6 million metric tonnes of cement annually and operates in 10 countries across the continent.
Dangote also has stakes in publicly traded sugar and salt manufacturing companies.
According to Forbes, the billionaire kicked of the construction of Dangote Refinery in 2016. Once completed it is expected to be one of the largest oil refineries in the world.
He is the second richest man in Africa with a net worth of $8.5 billion (Ksh917 billion). Sawiris hails from one of the wealthiest families in Egypt. His brother Naguib, is also a billionaire.
He split Orascom Construction Industries into two entities: OCI and Orascom Construction in 2015. He runs OCI which is one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer producer in the world and has plants in Texas and Iowa, USA.
OCI is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange, whereas Orascom; an engineering and building company is listed on Nasdaq Dubai and Cairo exchange.
Sawiris has a significant stake in cement manufacturer Lafarge Holcim and a 6 per cent stake in sportwear maker Adidas. He also sits on the Adidas supervisory board.
Nicky Oppenheimer & family
The South African billionaire is the third richest person on the continent with a net worth of $8 billion (Ksh863 billion) up from $7.7 billion (Ksh831 billion) in 2020. He is the heir to his family wealth.
In 2012, he sold his family’s 40 per cent stake in diamond firm DeBeers to mining giant AngloAmerican for $5.1 billion (Ksh550 billion). His family held a significant stake in the global diamond market for 85 years until 2012.
He is the third generation to run DeBeers.
Oppenheimer founded Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg in 2014. The company operates chartered flights and boasts a fleet of three planes and two helicopters. He also owns a reported 720 square miles of conservation land across South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
The billionaire also owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the largest private game reserve in South Africa.
Johann Rupert & family
The billionaire who hails from South Africa, slots in as the fourth richest on the continent with a net worth of $7.7 billion (Ksh777 billion) up from $6.5 (Ksh701 billion) in 2020 when he was ranked 5th.
He is the chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a luxury goods company based in Switzerland that manufactures watches, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and perfumes. The company is best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc.
The firm is owned by Remgro Limited in which Rupert owns a 7 per cent stake. He also owns 25 per cent of Reinet, an investment holding company in Luxembourg.
He is also the part owner of the Saracens English rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his late brother.
The billionaire lists not buying half of Gucci as his biggest regret when he had the opportunity to acquire it for $175 million.
Nigeria’s second richest man, Adenuga slots in at 5th with a net worth of $6.3 billion (Ksh680 billion) down from $7.7 billion (Ksh777 billion) in 2020. He has made his fortune with interests in telecom and oil exploration.
He own the third largest mobile phone network in Nigeria, Globacom, which has over 55 million subscribers. His oil company, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
The Nigerian billionaire is the 6th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $5.5 billion (Ksh555 billion). In 2020 he was valued at $3.1 billion and ranked 8th at the time.
Rabiu is the the founder of BUA Group, a conglomerate with interests in cement production, sugar refining and real estate.
He owns 98.5 per cent of BUA Cement Plc, which is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Issad Rebrab & Family
The Algerian billionaire is the 7th wealthiest man in Africa and boast a net worth of $4.8 billion (Ksh518 billion) up from $4.4 billion (Ksh474 billion) in 2020.
He is the founder and CEO of Cevital, the largest privately owned company in Algeria. It owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world and can produce over 2 million metric tonnes annually.
The company also owns a home appliances maker, Groupe Brandt based in France, a steel mill in Italy and a water purification company in Germany.
He is brother to Nassef Sawiris, Africa’s 2nd richest man. Naguib has a net worth of $3.2 billion (Ksh545 billion) up from $3 billion (Ksh323 billion) in 2020.
He made his fortune in Telecom. In 2011 he sold Orascom Telecom to Russian telecom firm Veon in a multi-billion dollar deal. He is the chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, an asset manager in Egypt and Italian internet company Italiaonline.
Naguib also owns 88 per cent of pan-European pay TV and video news network Euronews. He also has a luxury resort called Silversands on the Caribbean island of Grenada.
The South African billionaire is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. He debuted into the exclusive club of Africa’s wealthiest in 2008 and is now ranked 9th among the wealthiest on the continent.
In 2021 Motsepe slotted in with a net worth of $3 billion (Ksh323 billion) up from $2.6 billion in 2020.
In 2016, he launched African Rainbow Capital, focusing on investments in Africa. He also has a stake in services provider Sanlam and is also the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
The South African billionaire rounds up the list of Africa’s top 10 richest people with a net worth of $2.8 billion (Ksh302 billion) up from $2.5 billion (Ksh269 billion) in 2020.
He is famed for having turned South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an eCommerce investor & cable TV powerhouse.
In 2001, Naspers invested in Chinese Internet and media firm Tencent. He owns a 2 per cent stake in Tencent. He owns Babylonstoren estate, 600 acres in South Africa’s Western Cape region