Magazine lists 55 billionaires in Africa
Majority of super rich come from Nigeria and South Africa, reports financial magazine Ventures Africa
Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote is named by Ventures Africa as the richest man in Africa
The number of African billionaires is far greater than previously estimated, with leading financial magazine Ventures Africa revealing there are at least 55 people in this category in its latest super-rich list for the continent.
Of the billionaires named, the majority are from Nigeria and South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouses.
“Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt lead the pack with the highest number of billionaires at 20, nine and eight respectively. Algeria, Angola, Zimbabwe and Swaziland only have one billionaire each. In all, there are 10 African countries represented on the list,” the bi-monthly magazine states.
In addition, the “Richest People in Africa 2013” list includes three women – Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the mother of Kenya’s president; Isabel Dos Santos, the Angolan president’s daughter; and Folorunsho Alakija, a Nigerian oil tycoon and fashion designer.
The continent’s richest man is Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, a manufacturing tycoon who has amassed a fortune of $20.2 billion (€14.85 billion) over the past three decades.
Harvard-trained businessman Allan Gray was listed as South Africa’s richest man, with a fortune of $8.5 billion.
“This media-shy South African moneyman controls two investment companies that collectively manage over $50 billion in assets,” Ventures said.
The oldest billionaires are Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria and Egyptian property tycoon Mohammed Al-Fayed, both aged 84. The youngest billionaires are Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania and Igho Sanomi, a Nigerian oil trader. They are both 38 years old.
The groups’ average age is 65 and its combined fortune is estimated at $143.88 billion, giving each member an average net worth of $2.6 billion.
“Africa’s richest people derived their fortunes pursuing a variety of business endeavours, including financial services, mining, construction, energy and retail,” the magazine says.
Previously it was thought that Africa had far less super-rich individuals, with US financial magazine Forbes estimating last year that there were only 16 billionaires on the continent.
Ventures founder Chi-Chi Okonjo told the Financial Times he believed there were twice as many billionaires in Africa than his magazine had managed to unearth.
“I am sure that there are more billionaires than those 55, but discussing wealth is still taboo in Africa,” he said.
These latest revelations could spark a surge in debate about inequality in Africa, which appears to be growing despite the improved economic performance achieved by countries across the continent over the past 10 years.