The richest people in Africa and how they have amassed great wealth in a continent regarded as the poorest in the world. This list of African wealthiest people arrests the misconception that all Africans are subjected to poverty.
Some of the richest people in Africa are are self-made, some of them have built on their influence and power to gather their wealth, and some of these millionaires have leveraged inheritances to become one of the richest people in Africa.
Listed below are the top 50 wealthiest people in Africa according to the data gather from Forbes.
RICHEST PEOPLE IN AFRICA
- ALIKO DANGOTE – NW: $21.6 BILLION
Dangote is the richest person in Africa and the only African on the list of top 50 richest in the world. His primary businesses include cement, sugar and flour. His company Dangote Group is currently on an expansion drive to many other African countries. Dangote refineries are expected to come online in 2017.
- Dangote, Africa’s richest man, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer.
- He owns about 90% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company.
- Dangote Cement produces 44 million metric tons annually and plan to increase its output 33% by 2020.
- Dangote also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
Aliko Dangote, an ethnic Hausa Muslimrom Kano State, was born on 10 April 1957 into a wealthy Muslim family. He is the great-grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest African at the time of his death in 1955. Dangote has said, “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets [candy] and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
Dangote was educated at the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa, followed by Capital High School, Kano. He has a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
- JOHANN RUPERT – NW: $7.3 BILLION
He is the creator of several luxury goods including brands such as Cartier and Mont Blanc. Apart from that, this South African billionaire owns shares in several multi-national companies. These include Reinet as well as Romego Limited. Johann Rupert is the richest South African and the second richest person in Africa.
When the British design magazine Wallpaper* described the Afrikaans language as “one of the ugliest languages in the world” in its September 2005 edition (in reference to the Afrikaans Language Monument), Rupert responded by withdrawing advertising for his companies’ brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine.
- NICKY OPPENHEIMER – NW: $6.8 BILLION
Based in South Africa, Nicky Oppenheimer made the bulk of his fortune from the diamond trade. He owns shares in several corporate companies such as Anglo-American. Nicky Oppenheimer is one of the wealthiest people in Africa.
- The DeBeers diamond heir sold his 40% stake in DeBeers to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012.
- Anglo American, which Nicky’s grandfather founded, controls 85% of De Beers.
- He served on Anglo American’s board for 37 years until 2011, and retains an estimated 1% stake in the company.
- NASSEF SAWIRIS – NW: $6.1 BILLION
Nassef Sawiris is a construction magnate and the richest man in Egypt. He owns an extremely profitable construction company. Last year, he collaborated with the Dubai International Petroleum Investment Cooperation to fund a coal-based power plant at his birthplace. His estimated net worth of $6.1 billion makes him one of the richest Africans.
Egypt’s richest businessman, Nassef Sawiris, runs OCI, one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer producers in the world. It has plants in Texas, and is building facilities in Iowa. Originally Orascom Construction Industries, Sawiris split the company into two entities in 2015. Orascom Construction now trades on Egypt’s exchange and Nasdaq Dubai, while OCI, the fertilizer and chemicals business, trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. Sawiris also owns nearly 5% of cement giant LafargeHolcim, and 7% of Adidas. A University of Chicago graduate, he donated $20 million to the school in 2015 to establish a scholarship program named after his father, Onsi. The funds benefit Egyptian students
- CHRISTOFFEL WIESE – NW: $5.4 BILLION
Wiese is a retail genius in South Africa, who has interests and investments in several South African establishments such as fast food chains, supermarkets, and furniture stores. He also has invested in many organizations in more than 15 countries.
Bargain Shopping African retail tycoon made an end run on big urban-market competitors by targeting rural and low-income areas with rock-bottom prices and everyday items. His central distribution system also made more efficient work of stocking shelves. Wiese today presides over 11,000 stores across 30 countries.
- MIKE ADENUGA – NW: $4.6 BILLION
This Nigerian billionaire is an investor in the telecommunications and oil production industries. He is the founder of Globacom Limited, which is the second largest phone network in Nigeria. Dr. Mike Adenuga is the chairperson of ConOil PLC, a lucrative oil exploration company in Nigeria.
- MOHAMED MANSOUR – NW: $4 BILLION
Mohamed Mansour is a billionaire and businessman with diverse investments across different industries in Egypt. He oversees and manages the growth and functioning of Mansour Group and General Motors simultaneously. He has stakes in the telecom education industry and real estate industry in differentoverseas countries .
- ISABEL DOS SANTOS – NW: $3.7 BILLION
Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s longtime president Eduardo Dos Santos and the richest woman in Africa. Isabel has made significant investments in Angola’s telecommunication company Unitel and as well as in the Banco BIC bank.
- ISAAD REBRAB – NW: $3.2 BILLION
This Algerian businessman gained his well through his investments in the food industry. He is the founder of the largest private conglomerate in Algeria – Cevital. This organization owns the biggest sugar refineries in the world. It is also involved in the production of vegetable oil and margarine.
- NAGUIB SAWIRIS – NW: $3.1 BILLION
He is the founder and creator of one of the largest telecommunication company in Egypt, Orascom Telecom Media & Technology. It is quite the lucrative business since OTMT has invested in various industries such as media, mobile phone and other technological companies in countries as Pakistan and Lebanon.
- YOUSSEF MANSOUR – NW: $2.9 BILLION
Compared to his Egyptian Billionaires, Mansour brothers, Youseff maintains a very low profile. Apart from being a major stakeholder of Mansour Group, he is also interested in the field of consumer goods. For instance, he is a major investor of Egyptian McDonald’s chains.
- FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA – NW: $2.5 BILLION
The richest self-made female billionaire in Africa. Her first organization was a designer brand that specialized in elite clothing. Subsequently, she started investing in Nigerian oil production as well. She is one of the richest women in the world.
- OTHMAN BENJELLOUN – NW: $2.4 BILLION
The Moroccan billionaire invests in banking, telecom, and insurance industries through his company FinanceCom. He is also the chairperson of BMCE Bank, which is one of the largest in Morocco and is active in more than 20 African countries.
- YASSEEN MANSOUR – NW: $2.3 BILLION
He runs the Mansour Group along with his brothers in Egypt. The company specializes in Caterpillar dealerships. The company also has diversified interests into other industries. For instance, it is the distributor of L’Oreal in Egypt. Yassen also is the founder of big-time real estate developing company – Palm Hills Development.
- PATRICE MOTSEPE – NW: $2.3 BILLION
He is South Africa’s first black billionaire. Motsepe is an investor in the South African mining industry. He is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals which is a mining company that specializes in iron, copper, gold, platinum and much more.
- KING MOHAMMED VI – NW: $2.1 BILLION
The Moroccan ruler has investments in several lucrative industries. He holds 40% of shares in SNI – one of the largest investment firms in Morocco. He has major investments in banking, mining, and food manufacturing, he is one of the wealthiest men in Africa.
- KOOS BEKKER – NW: $2 BILLION
Among his varied interests, Bekker is mainly an investor of the media industry. He is the founder of MTN, one of the largest telecom brands in Africa. Bekker has also made several foreign investments, especially in BRIC countries.
- STEPHAN SAAS – NW: $1.8 BILLION
He is a large benefactor of the pharmaceutical industry of South Africa. He is the founder and CEO of Aspen Pharmacare, which is a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in Africa. The company’s generic medicine market expands to more than 150 countries.
- ONSI SAWIRIS – NW: $1.9 BILLION
Onsi is the founder of Orascom Construction Industries and the patriarch of one of the richest families in Egypt. OCI also invests in various other industries including fertilizers and chemical business.
- AZIZ AKHANNOUCH – NW: $1.8 BILLION
He is a major shareholder of Akwa Group. It is a large-scale conglomerate in Morocco that specializes in chemicals, gas and petroleum. His company also has investments in real estate development, media and hotel chains.
- MILOUD CHAABI – NW: $1.3 BILLION
Chaabi is a Moroccan investor and self-made billionaire. He is the founder of Ynna Holdings, which is a major real estate developing company in the country. The company also has branches in hotel and supermarket investments. He is also the owner of SNEP, which is a Moroccan chemical manufacturer.
- THEOPHILUS DANJUMA – NW: $1.1 BILLION
Danjuma is the creator and CEO of Nigerian organization South Atlantic Petroleum, which is a major oil and petroleum manufacturer. He is a stakeholder in the chemical and shipping industry as well. It is noteworthy that Danjuma was a former Defense Minister of Nigeria.
- SUDHIR RUPARELIA – NW: $1.1 BILLION
This Ugandan billionaire is one the largest real estate investors in the country. He is the founder and CEO of Ruperelia Group, which owns more than 300 residential and commercial properties.
- SAMIH SAWIRIS – NW: $1.1 BILLION
He is a member of the Sawiris family and the chief operator of the family’s business – Orascom Development. The company specializes in real estate business and constructs and operates resorts and hotels in Egypt as well as in Switzerland.
- ANAS SEFRIOUI – NW: $1.1 BILLION
He is a self-made Moroccan billionaire and founder of Groupe Addoha, which is a large-scale real estate organization. The company mainly focuses on the residential market and thus specializes in home building programs. The group is planning to expand its branches in other African countries as well.
- ROSTAM AZIZI – NW: $1 BILLION
Azizi is a self-made billionaire in Tanzania who mainly invests in the telecommunications industry. He is a major stakeholder of Vodacom Tanzania – which is the largest mobile network company in the country. Azizi has also diversified his assets by investing in real estate and mining industries.
- TONY ELUMELU – NW: $1 BILLION
He is a Nigerian billionaire who invests in various domestic and international industries. Apart from investing in real estate, Elumelu is a stakeholder of Transcorp, which is one of the largest publicly-traded conglomerates in Nigeria. He has also invested in several banks including United Bank and Standard Trust Bank.
- ORJI UZOR KALU – NW: $1 BILLION
He is yet another self-made billionaire from Nigeria. Kalu is the founder and CEO of Slok Holding. This organization specializes in a variety of industries including media, shipping, oil trading, manufacturing, and banking. He was one of the richest millionaires in Africa during his twenties.
- FEMI OTEDOLA – NW: $900 MILLION
As a Nigerian millionaire, Otedela specializes in the petroleum industry. He is a major shareholder of Forte Oil, which is one of Nigeria’s largest oil manufacturing companies. It owns and operates gas stations while manufacturing its brand of engine oil.
- JIM OVIA – NW: $850 MILLION
Ovia is a big time investor in the Nigerian banking industry; he is also one of the richest people in Nigeria. He is the founder and most major stakeholder of Zenith Bank Group; one of the largest commercial banks in Nigeria. Ovia has made investments in other sectors such as telecom and real estate as well.
- MOHAMMED DEWJI – NW: $800 MILLION
He is a Tanzanian millionaire is the founder of MeTL Group. He started investing in manufacturing plants, edible oils, and textiles to diversify his assets. In 2014, Dewji launched a self-brand Mo Cola as a market competitor for Coca-Cola in Tanzania.
- LAURTIZ DIPPENAAR – NW: $730 MILLION
As the founder and owner of FirstRand, one of the largest banking and insurance corporations in South Africa, Dippenaar is a one of the most influential millionaires in the country. The organization owns shares in several banks and thus makes a significant contribution to the economy.
- MOHAMED BENSALAH – NW: $700 MILLION
Bensalah is the head of the family business Holmarcom Group, which specializes in the finance industry of Morocco. Bensalah’s company invests in a variety of industries. It owns significant stakes in Air Arabia Moroc; a major Moroccan airline.
- ABDULSAMAD RABIU – NW:$700 MILLION
His company BUA Group specializes in commodities such as flour and sugar. It is also a large scale distributor of cement in Nigeria. Furthermore, the organization manages ports and terminals within the industry as well.
- BHIMJI DEPAR SHAH – NW:$700 MILLION
Shah is a self-made Kenyan millionaire who mainly invests on consumer goods. Over the years, his company Bidco Industries had invested and manufactured in several industries such as garments, soap production, and edible oils.
- DESMOND SACO – NW: $680 MILLION
He is a South African mining tycoon who has been dominating the mining industry in the country through his investments in various organizations including Assmang Limited, which produces manganese, iron, and chrome.
- MOHAMED INDIMI – NW: $670 MILLION
Indimi is a self-made Nigerian millionaire and founder of one of the largest oil production organizations in the country. Oriental Energy Resources manufactures and distributes oil to many African countries apart from Nigeria.
- GUS ATTRIDGE – NW: $660 MILLION
This South African Millionaire is the Deputy CEO of Aspen Pharmacare, which is not only the largest pharmaceutical producer in Africa but is also the fifth largest generic drug manufacturer in the world. Attridge is an important founding member as well as a major shareholder of the company.
- TUNDE FOLAWIYO – NW: $650 MILLION
Folawiyo is the founder and CEO of the Nigerian company Yinka Folawiyo Group. This company specializes in various industries including real estate, shipping, manufacturing, and engineering. Folawiyo has also made several significant investments in the oil and telecom industry as well.
- MOULAY HAFID ELALAMY – NW: $620 MILLION
This self-made Moroccan millionaire is the head of Saham Group; one of the biggest insurance companies in Morocco. This firm also invests in several other industries too. These include call centers, clinics and media companies such as Bertlesmann – a renowned German media entity.
- HAKEEM BELO-OSAGIE – NW: $600 MILLION
He is a Nigerian millionaire who invests mainly in the telecommunications industry. He is the CEO of Etisalat in Nigeria which is the fourth largest mobile network in the country. He invests in financial firms and recreational centers as well.
- STRIVE MASIYIWA – NW: $600 MILLION
This gentleman is the richest man in Zimbabwe. The bulk of his wealth stems from his involvement in Econet Wireless Group; a telecommunications group that he founded. Masiyiwa also contributes a lot towards the betterment of education.
- ALI WAKRIM – NW: $600 MILLION
Wakrim generated a significant portion of wealth through petroleum and gas business in Morocco. Akwa Group was founded and is managed by the family; credit also goes to his siblings for their involvement in the company. Apart from liquid petroleum, the company also manufactures certain chemicals as well.
- SAID SALIM BAKHRESA – NW: $575 MILLION
He is a Tanzanian self-made millionaire who invests mainly on manufactured goods such as grain and potatoes. Furthermore, his company invests in food and beverages and packing services as well. He is also the founder of Azam TV which is a commonly used pay TV service in East and South Africa.
- REGINALD MENGI – NW: $560 MILLION
Mengi’s primary interest of business is media. His media company IIP Media owns several media entities in Africa including radio, television and newspaper platforms. He is also the founder and owner of Kilimanjaro – which is a commonly used bottled water brand in Tanzania.
- NAUSHAD MERALI – NW: $550 MILLION
This self-made Kenyan millionaire invests in various industries to diversify his assets. These include real estate, finance, construction, information technology and agriculture. He manages all his investments through his company Sameer Group.
- OBA OTUDEKO – NW: $550 MILLION
Otudeko is the founder and CEO of the Nigerian company Honeywell Group. This company manages and invests in a range of industries such as petroleum, food manufacturing, and marine transportation. Furthermore, the company is also involved with telecommunications industry on a small scale.
- AHMED EZZ – NW: $520 MILLION
Ezz is a former chairperson of an Egyptian political party and is currently a steel tycoon. Ezz Steel is a leading steel manufacturer in Egypt and the Middle East as a whole. An important part of Ahmed Ezz’s wealth comes from his shares in Ezz Steel.
- JANIE MOUTON – NW: $520 MILLION
Mouton is a self-made millionaire who controls the finance and insurance industry of South Africa. This financial management facilitated through PSG Group, which was founded and is currently run by Mouton. The company has interests in banking, education and agriculture.
- GERRIT THOMAS FERREIRA – NW: $510 MILLION
As the Co-founder and a shareholder of Rand Consolidated Investing, Ferreira managed to become a millionaire in South Africa. The organization acts as one of the biggest financial firms in both Southern Africa and India. RMB and RMI Holdings are the two famous and lucrative subsidiaries of this organization.
RICHEST MAN IN AFRICA
Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)
RICHEST WOMAN IN AFRICA
Isabel Dos Santos (Angola)