Political, social and economic tensions in Africa continue to hold the continent back in terms of wealth creation and retention.
These factors have not only affected budding wealth creators but have also curtailed and to some extent reduced the wealth of some individuals, a recent report indicates.
According to this year’s FORBES List of the Africa’s Richest, the number of billionaires on the continent, as well as the size of their fortunes, continues to drop. This year, only 21 African billionaires are on the list compared to 23 featured last year. The combined wealth of the former is $70 billion down from 79.8 billion in the previous year.
7 Countries- South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Angola, and Tanzania- dominated the list. South Africa topped the list with six billionaires, same as Egypt. South Africa’s super-rich individuals have a combined net worth of $22.7 billion, which is $7 billion more than Egypt’s six billionaires.
Aliko Dangote at the top of the game
Source of wealth: cement, sugar, flour; age 59; net worth $12.1 B
Economic turmoil distressing Nigeria’s currency affected his wealth last year. Last June, Africa’s richest man, fell 25 places down on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after losing $ 3.7 billion in Nigeria’s recession.
In the wake of Nigeria’s economic meltdown, two Nigerians fell off the Billionaires list this year. Femi Otedola oil marketer of Nigeria saw his net worth drop from $1.6 billion in November 2015, to $330 million. Another Nigerian by the name Abdulsamad Rabiu, also dropped off the list after his net worth dropped below $1 billion.
This year’s global wealth report has listed only three Nigerians, including Mike Adenuga, who is Africa’s third richest individual with a fortune worth $5.8 billion. Coming in the third position is Folorunsho Alakija, the vice chairman of Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa Oil with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion. She is the second richest woman in Africa.
Only two women on Africa’s list
Of the total 21 wealthiest people on the continent, only two are women. In addition to Nigeria’s Alakija, Angola’s Isabel dos Santos is Africa’s richest woman with a $3.2 billion fortune. The president’s daughter, dos Santos, was appointed the head of Angola’s state oil firm Sonangol in June 2016.
Source of wealth: oil; age 66; net worth $1.6 B
Alakija started off with a fashion label company that dressed Nigeria’s elite women, including the wife of the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, who later awarded Alakija’s company an oil prospecting license.
Isabel dos Santos
Source of wealth: investments; age 43; net worth $3.1B
Dos Santos comes in at position 8 on the continent’s list while Alakija is at number 14.
When it comes to age, Tanzanian Mohammed Dewji is Africa’s youngest billionaire. He is currently the CEO of a multinational company METL, which was founded by his father in the 1970s. On the flip side, Onsi Sawiris, an Egyptian, is the oldest billionaire (86) and the father of two other African Billionaires- Naseef and Naguib Sawiris.
Naseef who happens to be Egypt’s richest billionaire, gained up to $400 million to stand at $5.3 billion since November 2015. His brother, Naguib, was Egypt’s biggest gainer on the list. His net worth increased by $700 million in the past year.