The African continent is home to 46 billionaires, the second-lowest total of any global region.
However, as Visual Capitalist’s Pallavi Rao and Bhabna Banerjee detail below, the number of wealthy individuals in Africa is growing. Total private wealth is expected to rise 30% over the next decade, led by growth in the billionaire and millionaire segments.
Visualized here are Africa’s richest, using data collected by Forbes, on billionaires who reside on the continent and have their primary business there.
Breaking Down Africa’s Billionaires
The richest man in Africa is also the richest Black man in the world. Once a small sugar trader, Aliko Dangote now has a net worth of $13.5 billion. He is the 86th richest person in the world, and single-handedly makes up 25% of the total wealth of African billionaires.
His company, the Dangote Group is now an African conglomerate with interests in a range of sectors, including sugar, cement, and real estate.
The top three – Alike Dangote, Johann Rupert, and Nicky Oppenheimer – account for 40% of the total wealth of those ranked.
A Look Through the Rest of the Richest People in Africa
At number two on the list is Johann Rupert. The chairman of Swiss luxury goods company, Compagnie Financiere Richemont, started his career with a banking apprenticeship in New York, before returning to South Africa and eventually pivoting to retail.
Through the rest of those ranked, a range of diverse business activities have allowed these billionaires to garner their wealth.
Nicky Oppenheimer (3rd) and Patrice Motsepe (9th) – have made fortunes in the mining industry, a sector which contributes nearly 10% to sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP. Meanwhile, Naguib Sawiris (8th) and Strive Masiyiwa (12th) have built telecom empires.
Billionaire Wealth Mirrors Country Wealth
Only seven out of the 54 African countries are represented on Africa’s rich list, and even amongst them, three countries (Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria) account for more than two-thirds of the top-ranked billionaires.
The home countries for these billionaires reflects the nations’ contribution to the African economy as a whole. Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt have the top three GDPs in Africa.
Algeria – where Issad Rebrab (7th) is from – is ranked fourth, and Morocco – where Aziz Akhannouch (13th) is based – is fifth.
What’s Next For Africa’s Richest?
Africa has routinely been touted to become a future economic powerhouse as its demographic dividend pays off in the next few decades. However, its biggest challenge will be developing its economic and social infrastructure to retain local talent to make their fortunes at home.
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