The richest people in Africa have made remarkable returns from their business ventures in different industries. From oil and manufacturing to mining, telecommunication, and financial services, Africa is rich with business opportunities. The African continent is growing fast in terms of technology, travel, and internet connectivity.
Africa’s richest people have become wealthy by investing in a continent that was once seen as unfavorable for business. In recent years, the continent has witnessed an increase in the number of billionaires, and this number increases every year.
But who are the wealthiest people in Africa? Today, we walk you through Africa’s wealthiest individuals and their net wealth according to Forbes.
Richest People in Africa
1. Aliko Dangote – Richest Person in Africa
With an estimated net worth of $12.1 billion, the Nigerian billionaire and business magnate, Aliko Dangote, is Africa’s wealthiest individual. Aliko Dangote has been the richest African for the tenth consecutive year. Dangote owns the Dangote Group. This conglomerate includes cement plants, flour mills, and oil refineries.
He founded Dangote Group in 1977 and chairs Dangote Cement, which is the largest cement producer in Africa. Through a holding company, he also owns an 85% stake in Dangote Cement. Dangote Cement is a cement producer that produces 45.6 million tonnes annually. The company also has operations in 10 African countries.
Dangote also holds stakes in publicly traded sugar and salt manufacturing companies. After a 30% rise in cement company shares, Dangote’s wealth grew by $ 2 Billion in 2020. So, with this trend, Dangote is set to remain in the lead in the coming years.
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2. Nassef Sawiris – Net Worth $8.5 Billion
Nassef Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire, has made his wealth mainly from investments in construction and other sectors. Forbes estimates that his net worth is $9.2 Billion. He was the richest Arab and second wealthiest African in 2021.
He is also the chairman and CEO of OCI Group. Sawiris is the son of Onsi Sawiris who founded Orascom Construction Industries (OCI). This is one of Egypt’s most important private-sector companies.
His father’s business has grown to a multi-national conglomerate that invests in many sectors including cement production, fertilizer plants, and gas stations. He was instrumental in his father’s success. Besides, analysts believe that he will succeed his father as OCI’s chief executive.
3. Nicky Oppenheimer – Net Wealth $8 billion
Oppenheimer is South Africa’s richest man and the third richest person in Africa. Nicky Oppenheimer is a South African diamond mining heir and also a philanthropist. He was the chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. (Debswana). This company is the world’s largest diamond producer by volume.
Oppenheimer resigned as Chairman of De Beers in December 2005. This followed an agreement with Anglo American plc regarding their joint venture company- Diamond Trading Company International Limited.
In 2012, he sold the 40% family stake to AngloAmerican. Since then, he has been involved in charitable activities through The Nicky Oppenheimer Family Foundation. These activities include supporting wildlife conservation, poverty alleviation, and education.
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4. Johann Rupert – Net Wealth $7.2 billion
Johann Rupert is one of the richest people in Africa. He is also the second richest person in South Africa. He has made much of his wealth from trading luxury goods. Besides, Rupert is the chairman of Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company Richemont, and Remgro, based in South Africa.
Since 1984, he has been a director at Richemont (formerly Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA), and chairman since 1988, when he succeeded Anton Rupert. Richemont has several companies including The Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and IWC Schaffhausen. He runs other luxury goods manufacturing businesses. He is also a member of the board for Forevermark Diamonds Limited.
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5. Mike Adenuga – Net Wealth $6.3 billion
Our list of Africa’s richest people ranks Mike Adenuga at number five. He is a Nigerian billionaire who owns Globacom, the second-largest telecom operator in West Africa. It has offices in Ghana and Benin. The multi-billion-dollar oil industry is also what has helped him to make his fortunes. According to Forbes, Mike Adenuga’s net worth is $6.3 billion.
He holds stakes in the Equitorial Trust Bank and the Conoil Producing Company Limited, which deals with oil exploration. In 2007, Adenuga was named African Entrepreneur of The Year during the first African Telecoms Awards (ATA). He holds a Yoruba tribal chieftaincy as the Otunba Apesin of the Ijebu clan.
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6. Abdul Samad Rabiu – Net Wealth $5.5 billion
Abdul Samad is another Nigerian billionaire who is also a philanthropist. His father, the late Khalifah IIsyaku Rabiu, was an industrialist in Nigeria during the 1970s and 1980s. He makes money selling cement and sugar.
He is the founder of BUA Group and its Chairman. The group operates in cement production, real property, and sugar canes plantation. It also has retail outlets throughout Nigeria. Forbes estimates his net worth at 4.9 billion dollars.
7. Issad Rebrab – Net Wealth $4.8 billion
Issa Rebrab, an inventor and entrepreneur, became a billionaire through his investment and achievements in construction. Rebrab founded Cevital in 1995. Cevital is one of the largest privately-held conglomerates in Algeria. Moreover, it has many subsidiaries, including a steel mill company, a home appliance firm, and a water purification company.
Since then, he has diversified into other industries to build a stronger financial base for himself as well as Algerian citizens. Funding medical research to cure cancer is part of the plan. He partly funded life-saving drugs such as Glycerin, which is sold under GSK. Notably, Rebrab currently holds no position in this pharmaceutical giant.
8. Naguib Sawiris Naguib – Net Worth $3.2 billion
Naguib Sawiris Naguib is an Egyptian billionaire. He has an estimated net worth of 3.2 billion dollars. He is also the chairman of Weather Investments’ parent firm and chairman and CEO at Orascom Telecom Holding. Sawiris joined Orascom in 1979 as a member of the family business.
He has helped to grow and diversify the company, making it one of Egypt’s largest conglomerates. In fact, Orascom is the largest employer in the private sector. Besides, Sawiris was responsible for building Orascom’s railway, information technology, and telecommunications sector. Then, Sawiris was elected chairman of La Mancha Holding in August 2012.
Besides, the billionaire offered to purchase an island in Greece or Italy for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing conflict. However, he acknowledged that the plan might be challenged by customs regulations and jurisdictions. It was announced in December 2021 that Sawiris would be selling his major stake in Euronews.
9. Patrice Motsepe – Net Worth $3 billion
Motsepe, a South African mining billionaire, has a net worth of $3 billion. African Rainbow Minerals is his company, and he is also the executive chairman. It deals in platinum, ferrous metals, and base metals.
Motsepe is a member of several company boards. He was the non-executive chair of Harmony Gold (the world’s 12th largest mining company) and also deputy chairman of Sanlam. Motsepe was also voted South Africa’s richest man in 2012 and topped the Sunday Times annual Rich List.
Motsepe was listed as the 962nd wealthiest person in the World and the third wealthiest South African in 2019. In 2020, Forbes ranked him the world’s 1,307th wealthiest person with a fortune of US$2.1 billion back then.
10. Koos Bekker – New Worth $2.8 billion
Koos Bekker is a South African billionaire, entrepreneur, and chairman of the media group – Naspers. Bekker’s investments in South Africa’s media industry have helped him become one of the top richest people in Africa.
Moreover, Naspers is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Stock Exchange. In addition, Bekker’s media company has the highest market capitalization outside of the U.S., China, and India.
Forbes listed Bekker on its 2019 World’s Billionaires list as the 1002nd wealthiest person in the world. Also, Koos Bekker is the fourth richest person in South Africa with a fortune of around $2.8 billion.
These African billionaires are making a huge contribution to the development of Africa. Their companies are a source of livelihood to thousands of African families. As more and more African billionaires continue to pop up, Africa will continue to develop particularly in various sectors. Also, we expect that the list of the top 10 richest people in Africa will have some new faces in the future.