Africa’s rich men and women list reviewed…

Posted on October 7, 2013




Many more African billionaires than previously thought

Lagos, Nigeria: October 7th, 2013: Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service, has today launched the first of its new annual Africa rich list. The Ventures Africa Rich List is the most comprehensive ever compiled and reveals the true wealth of Africa’s richest people.

The list uncovers the fortunes of the 55 African billionaires, of which for many little was previously known about the size of their wealth. Previously published Africa rich lists have only identified as few as 16 African billionaires.

Key findings from the research include:

  • The combined fortune of Africa’s 55 billionaires is $143.88 billion, with average net worth of $2.6 billion;
  • The median age of the list is 65 years. The youngest billionaires are Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania and Igho Sanomi, a Nigerian oil trader, who are both 38. The oldest billionaires are Manu Chandaria, a Kenyan industrialist, and Mohammed Al-Fayed, the Egyptian property tycoon, who are both 84;
  • Africa’s wealthiest woman, Folorunsho Alakija, is worth $7.3 billion dollars;
  • The most common industries in which African billionaires have made their money are: construction, financial services, oil and gas, manufacturing and real estate;
  • The wealthiest African’s are significantly wealthier than previously thought, for example:
    • Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, is now estimated to be worth $20.2 billion, a 68% increase on the most recent estimate of $12 billion
    • Mike Adenuga, oil and telecoms magnate and Africa’s third richest person, is now estimated to be worth $8 billion a 74% increase on the most recent estimate of $4.6 billion
    • Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt have the most billionaires with 20, nine and eight respectively. In total ten African countries are represented on the list;
    • There are a large number of African billionaires on the list whose fortunes have never been accurately calculated before including: Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwe, $1.46 billion); Abdulsamad Rabiu (Nigeria, $1.4 billion); Aziz Akhannouch (Morocco, $1.39 billion); Jide Omokore (Nigeria, $1.32 billion); and Bode Akindele (Nigeria, $1.19 billion)

Chi-Chi Okonjo, Founder of Ventures Africa, said:

“The Ventures Africa Rich List is the most authoritative Africa rich list ever compiled. We have been able to do so because of our on-the-ground experience and detailed knowledge of the local African business landscape, enabling us to negotiate problems that have hampered other African wealth researchers.

“This list is also a tribute to the entrepreneurial heartbeat within Africa. This wealth helps to create jobs and the billionaires on the list are more philanthropic than ever before. We’ve also featured a list of the aspiring millionaires under 40. These represent the voice of youth and the creation of tomorrow’s jobs. It makes for fascinating reading.”

The Ventures Africa Rich List has also reveals changing attitudes of Africa’s wealthy to philanthropy. Africa’s wealthy are becoming more structured with their philanthropy and choosing to set up foundations that will support their causes well into the future. For example, the foundation of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has donated over $100 million in the previous twelve months to causes including: education, health and disaster relief.

Jason Njoku, co-Founder iROKO Partners, and who also features on the Ventures Africa ‘Aspirant African Millionaires Under 40’ list, said:

“The new generation of wealthy Africans is looking at both commercial success and what good this success can bring to local communities, countries and Africa as a whole. Responsibility goes hand in hand with growth and with success goes the ability to make a difference.”

The list has been compiled using financial reports, by tracking equity holdings around stock markets and identifying specific shareholding structures in large, privately-held companies. The results have been corroborated with investment bankers, realtors and financial analysts to determine proper values for companies, real estate and other assets, such as art collections, jets, yachts and jewellery.

To view the full Ventures Africa Rich List please visit: or download our Ventures Africa Magazine App in the Apple and Google Apps stores.

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