News / Africa

    Survey Lists 55 Billionaires in Africa

    FILE -  Nigerian billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote.
    FILE - Nigerian billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote.
    There are at least 55 billionaires on the African continent. That's according to the Africa's Richest survey from Venture Africa, an Africa-based business magazine.

    There are 10 countries represented on the list, with Nigeria leading the way with 20 billionaires, South Africa with nine and Egypt with eight.

    The combined wealth of Africa's 55 billionaires is $143.88 billion, and the average wealth is $2.6 billion.

    The richest man on the list is Aliko Dangote, whose investments in manufacturing three decades ago have grown into a $20.2 billion net worth.  He is followed by South African investor Allan Gray and Nigerian oil and telecom businessman Mike Adenuga.

    Of Nigeria's billionaires, 13 have significant or total investments in the oil business, and mining is a sector tapped by many on the list across the continent.

    The Venture Africa survey has more than triple the number of billionaires reported by previous lists. Forbes Magazine noted only 16 billionaires in Africa in late 2012.

    Venture Africa's Publisher Chi Chi Okonjo said his magazine's Nigerian and South African base help with having more information than some lists - which is why his survey is more comprehensive.

    "We know, because we have people on ground, some of these people are actually people we know personally," Okonjo explained. "So we know their assets….That's the difference….You really need to be on ground to know what's happening. So we're able to provide much more detailed information."

    His editorial staff calculated wealth through publicly held shares, privately held companies, investment bankers, financial analysts and other financial barometers.

    Okonjo said Africans also tend to be quiet about their wealth.
     
    "Wealth is still somewhat taboo in Africa. People prefer discuss what they are doing for their communities rather than how much money they have. It's just a cultural thing," he noted. "So people don't like to discuss how much money they have or how much they've amassed."

    Dr. Azar Jammine, director of Econometrix, an economic consulting firm in Johannesburg, said this growing number of billionaires might not be a great sign for the overall economic health of the continent.
     
    "Essentially it's also a reflection of growing, it seems to be going hand in hand, with growing inequality around the world. Not everyone is getting rich at the same pace. The rich appear to be getting richer faster than the poor are getting richer, " Jammine said.

    According to Jammine, the economic growth comes from fast and large population growth, an increase in commodities prices such as oil, and the growth of the Chinese economy, which has heavily invested in Africa.

    Okonjo said he wasn't surprised at all by the findings, though they were quite conservative with their estimations of wealth, just to be safe.
     
     "I do think the number is a whole lot more than the 55 that we have, so we're not surprised. We actually expected a bit more from some of the places," he admitted. "I believe that we have a few more entrepreneurs who at some point in time will list their assets or make their business a bit more transparent."

    Okonjo expects that next year's list of billionaires will be even larger.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Pule from: Gaborone
    October 31, 2013 2:10 AM
    This is an inspiration to me and I am next on this list

    by: Thapelo Merapelo S from: Gabonone, Botswana
    October 17, 2013 7:00 AM
    This is very great to know that Africa has billionaires and it could be better if they are listed so that we can know who is who. Now those people how do the help the need, how can they reach them for encase they need to communicate with them.

    by: Given Nzuza from: Durban-South Africa
    October 11, 2013 10:11 AM
    Wow! That very inspiring to the youth of Africa.Arise Afrika your time has cometh for your "glory".

    by: Joe Kool
    October 11, 2013 7:32 AM
    Yes how things have changed, please PUBLISH the names, could be so so interesting.

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    October 10, 2013 10:41 PM
    HALLELUJAH! we have got multi billionaires in black Africa.
    Hope our never-ending poverty will soon be wiped out from this continent.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora