Forbes’ current list shows that Dangote Group President Aliko Dangote remains the undisputed king of Africa’s rich men., leading Globacom chief Mike Adenuga, BUA Group chief Abdulsamad Rabiu and Famfa Oil vice-chairman Folorusho Alakija, writes CHINAKA OKORO.
AFRICA’S RICHEST 20
- Aliko Dangote $10.1billion
- Nassef Sawiris $8 billion
- Mike Adenuga $7.7 billion
- Nicky Oppenheimer $7.7 billion
- Johann Rupert $6.5 billion
- Issad Rebrab $4.4 billion
- Mohamed Mansour $3.3 billion
- Abdulsamad Rabiu $3.1 billion
- Naguib Sawiris $3 billion
- Patrice Motsepe $2.6 billion
- Koos Bekker $2.5 billion
- Yasseen Mansour $2.3 billion
- Isabel dos Santos $2.2 billion
- Youssef Mansour $1.9 billion
- Aziz Akhannouch $1.7 billion
- Mohammed Dewji $1.6 billion
- Othman Benjelloun $1.4 billion
- Michiel Le Roux $1.3 billion
- Strive Masiyiwa $1.1billion
- Folorunso Alakija $1billion
The ranking by the American global media company indicated that Dangote’s present worth is down from his estimate of $10.3 billion last year. It attributed the drop to a slightly lower stock price for his Dangote Cement.
According to Forbes, only eight of Africa’s 54 nations have billionaires. South Africa and Egypt dominate the list with five billionaires each. Nigeria has four billionaires.
Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris is the new number two. He is worth $8 billion. He had $6.3 billion last year. His most valuable asset is a stake in Adidas, which is worth $4 billion.
Globacom chief Mike Adenuga is number three with $7.7 billion. GloMobile, Conoil and his extensive real estate holdings contribute to his massive wealth.
Adenuga shares the third place with South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who also has $7.7 billion. He is heir to his family’s fortune. He sold his 40 per cent stake in diamond firm DeBeers to mining group Anglo American for $5.1 billion in 2012.
Johann Rupert is the fifth richest African. The chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont is best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc.
BUA Group chief Abdulsamad Rabiu is on the number eight position. His company is a conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate.
In January, Rabiu merged his Obu Cement Company with listed firm Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the stock exchange and Rabiu owns 98.5% of it.
Angola’s Isabel dos Santos is one of the two women in the top 20 African billionaires. She is 13th with a net worth of $2.2 billion. The 46-year-old Dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in 2017.
Dos Santos’ fortune declined to an estimated $2.2 billion, down $100 million from last year. In late December, an Angola court issued an order to freeze the assets that Isabel dos Santos and her husband, Sindika Dokolo, own in Angola.
Those include her stake in telecom firm Unitel and stakes in two Angolan banks; Forbes estimates those assets are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
A statement issued by Isabel dos Santos said the judgment contained “a number of untruths” and that she would fight the decision “by using all the instruments of Angolan and international law at my disposal.”
Econet chief Strive Masiyiwa is in the 19th position with a net worth of $1.1billion. The 58-year-old overcame a rotracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in 1998.
He owns over 50% of the publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is a part of Econet Group.
He was worth 50% less than a year ago. Due primarily to the introduction of a new (weaker) currency in Zimbabwe, Masiyiwa’s fortune fell to $1.1 billion from $2.3 billion in January 2019.
Zimbabwe, which has battled with hyperinflation, had been using the U.S. dollar as its currency, but in 2019 it switched to its own currency, initially called the RTGS.
When converted into U.S. dollars, the values of Masiyiwa’s stakes in Zimbabwe-listed mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and Cassava Smartech fell dramatically in dollar terms.
Closing the 20 top African billionaire bracket is Folorunso Alakija with a net worth of $1billion. The 69-year-old Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, an oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield.
Dangote, the man
Forbes Africa journalist Peace Hyde said of Dangote: “Dangote is someone who is extremely focused and driven with a bullish passion for Africa.
For him, the goal is to dream as big and as grandiose as you can when it comes to the future of Africa because he believes, we have the human capital and resources to transform our continent.
Everything is possible in his mind. His approach to business is testament to this fact.
“Dangote has had his fair share of ups and downs. But his advice to young entrepreneurs is having the ability to delay gratification and work hard through tough times so they can enjoy the fruits of their labour at a later date.
I have seen him spend an entire afternoon answering questions about his business to a room of MBA graduates and proceeding to take pictures with everyone before leaving.
You will not find any of the obvious trappings of wealth like flashy cars or a big entourage with him and he takes the time to speak to anyone who approaches him at a function.”
Of the methodology, Forbes Africa said: “Our list tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary businesses there, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen, and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen.
(Strive Masiyiwa, a citizen of Zimbabwe and a London resident, appears on the list due to his expansive telecom holdings in Africa; Isabel dos Santos, a citizen of Angola, has been living in Europe but retains assets in Angola-although they were recently frozen by a court in Angola.).
“We calculated net worths using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 10, 2020.
To value privately-held businesses, we couple estimates of revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies. Some list members grow richer or poorer within weeks or days of our measurement date.” (The Nation)