The Billionaires List, Africa’s Richest People 2022

The Billionaires List, Africa’s Richest People 2022

Billionaires in Africa are wealthier than they have been in years. The continent’s 18 billionaires are worth an estimated $84.9 billion as a group, a 15% increase from a year ago and the highest tally since at least 2015. Soaring stock prices lifted the fortunes of these tycoons from Nigeria to Zimbabwe, as demand for products and services ranging from telecommunications to luxury goods increased.

Alike Dangote of Nigeria is the continent’s richest person for the 11th year in a row, worth an estimated $13.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion last year due to a 30% increase in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset. South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert has risen to No. 2 from No. 4 last year.

A more than 60% increase in the share price of his luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont – the maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens – increased his fortune to $11 billion, up from $7.2 billion a year ago, making him the list’s biggest gainer. Nicky Oppenheimer, a South African who previously ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo American a decade ago, is ranked third, with an estimated $8.7 billion in wealth.

Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, worth $2.7 billion (up from $1.2 billion last year), is the biggest percentage gainer, up 125 percent. Shares of his company, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, have increased by more than 750 percent in the last year, contributing to the size of his fortune.

Abdulsamad Rabiu, the Nigerian cement tycoon, is $1.5 billion richer after listing another of his companies, BUA Cement, in January 2020. Rabiu listed his sugar and food firm BUA Foods on the Nigerian stock exchange in early January 2022, with a market capitalization of nearly $2.8 billion. He and his son still own 96 percent of the company.

Only two of the 18 billionaires have lower net worths than last year: Koos Bekker of South Africa, whose fortune has fallen to $2.7 billion from $2.8 billion, and Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania, whose fortune has fallen to $1.5 billion from $1.6 billion. The 18 African billionaires come from seven different countries. South Africa and Egypt both have five billionaires, with Nigeria having three and Morocco having two.

The continent’s billionaires are all men, with Isabel dos Santos of Angola dropping off the Forbes list in January 2021.

Africa’s billionaires are wealthier than they have been in years. The continent’s 18 billionaires are worth an estimated $84.9 billion as a group, a 15% increase from a year ago and the highest total since at least 2015..

Methodology

Our list focuses on African billionaires who live in Africa or conduct their primary business there, excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, a U.K. citizen, and Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, a London resident. Strive Masiyiwa, a Zimbabwean living in London, is on the list due to his telecom holdings in Africa.

Stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 were used to calculate net worths. To value privately held companies, we begin with estimates of revenues or profits and then apply current price-to-sale or price-to-earnings ratios for comparable public companies.

Within weeks or days of our measurement date, some list members become richer or poorer.

1. ALIKO DANGOTE

Net worth: $13.9 billion
Rank in 2021: 1
Net worth in 2021: $12.1 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Cement, sugar
Industry:Manufacturing
Age: 64
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos

  • Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer.
  • Through a holding company, he owns 85 percent of Dangote Cement, which is publicly traded.
  • Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tons of cement per year and has operations in ten African countries.
  • Dangote’s fertilizer plant in Nigeria began operations in mid-2021, after many years of development.
  • Dangote Refinery has been under construction since 2016, and when completed, it will be one of the world’s largest oil refineries.

2. JOHANN RUPERT & FAMILY

Net worth: $11 billion
Rank in 2021: 4
Net worth in 2021: $7.2 billion
Origin of wealth: Luxury goods
Industry:Fashion and Retail
Age: 71
Country: South Africa
Residence: Cape Town

  • Johann Rupert is the chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company.
  • Two of the company’s most well-known brands are Cartier and Montblanc.
  • It was established in 1998 as a spinoff of Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), which his father Anton established in the 1940s.
  • He owns 7% of the diversified investment firm Remgro, which he chairs, and 25% of Reinet, a Luxembourg-based investment holding company.
  • Rupert has been a vocal opponent of plans to allow fracking in the Karoo, a region of South Africa where he owns land, in recent years.

3. NICKY OPPENHEIMER & FAMILY

Net worth: $8.7 billion
Rank in 2021: 3
Net worth in 2021: $8 billion
Origin of wealth: Diamonds
Industry: Metals and mining
Age: 76
Country: South Africa
Residence: Johannesburg

  • In 2012, Nicky Oppenheimer, heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune, sold his 40% stake in the company to mining conglomerate Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash.
  • Until 2012, the Oppenheimer family held a commanding position in the world’s diamond trade.
  • He was the third generation of his family to run DeBeers, and he privatized the company in 2001.
  • Oppenheimer founded Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg in 2014, which specializes in chartered flights.
  • In South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, he owns at least 720 square miles of conservation land.

 

4. NASSEF SAWIRIS

Net worth: $8.6 billion
Rank in 2021: 2
Net worth in 2021: $8.5 billion
Origin of wealth: Construction and Investments
Industry: Construction and engineering
Age: 61
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • Nassef Sawiris is a businessman and the heir to Egypt’s wealthiest family. His most valuable asset is a nearly 6% stake in sportswear manufacturer Adidas.
  • In December 2020, he purchased a 5% stake in Madison Square Garden Sports, the owner of the NBA Nicks and the NHL Rangers teams.
  • He is the CEO of OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa and a stock exchange listing on the Euronext Amsterdam Exchange.
  • Orascom Construction, an engineering and construction firm, is listed on the Cairo exchange and the Nasdaq Dubai.
  • He has stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas, and he sits on the Adidas supervisory board.

 

5. ABDULSAMAD RABIU

Net worth: $7 billion
Rank in 2021: 6
Net worth in 2021: $5.5 billion
Origin of wealth: Cement,
sugar
Industry: Diversified
Age: 61
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos

  • Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of the BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate involved in cement manufacturing, sugar refining, and real estate.
  • Rabiu merged his privately held Obu Cement company with the publicly traded Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled, in early January 2020.
  • The combined company, known as BUA Cement Plc, is listed on the Nigerian stock exchange, and Rabiu owns 98.5 percent of it.
  • Rabiu, a businessman’s son, inherited land from his father.
  • In 1988, he started his own business importing iron, steel, and chemicals.

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6. MIKE ADENUGA

Net worth: $6.7 billion
Rank in 2021: 5
Net worth in 2021: $6.3 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Telecom, oil
Industry: Diversified
Age: 68
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos

  • Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, amassed his fortune through telecommunications and oil production.
  • Globacom, his mobile phone network, is Nigeria’s third largest operator, with 55 million subscribers.
  • Conoil Producing, his oil exploration company, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
  • Adenuga earned an MBA from Pace University in New York while working as a taxi driver to support himself as a student.
  • At the age of 26, he made his first million dollars by selling lace and distributing soft drinks.

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7. ISSAD REBRAB & FAMILY

Net worth: $5.1 billion
Rank in 2021: 7
Net worth in 2021: $4.8 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Food
Industry: Food and Beverage
Age: 78
Country: Algeria
Residence: Algiers

  • Cevital, Algeria’s largest privately held company, is founded and led by Issad Rebrab.
  • Cevital owns one of the world’s largest sugar refineries, with a capacity of 2 million tons per year.
  • Cevital owns a number of European companies, including Groupe Brandt, a French home appliance manufacturer, an Italian steel mill, and a German water purification company.
  • Rebrab was released on January 1, 2020, after serving an 8-month sentence in prison on corruption charges. He denies committing any wrongdoing.

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8. NAGUIB SAWIRIS

Net worth: $3.4 billion
Rank in 2021: 8
Net worth in 2021: $3.2 billion
Origin of wealth: Telecom
Industry: Telecom
Age: 67
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • Naguib Sawiris is a member of Egypt’s most powerful family.
  • Nassef, his brother, is also a billionaire.
  • He made a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar deal in 2011.
  • He is the chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which owns a stake in an Egyptian asset manager and the Italian internet company Italiaonline, among other companies.
  • Sawiris owns 88 percent of Euronews, a pan-European pay TV and video news network, through his Media Globe Holdings.
  • He also built the Silversands luxury resort on the Caribbean island of Grenada.

9. PATRICE MOTSEPE

Net worth:$3.1 billion
Rank in 2021: 9
Net worth in 2021: $3 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Mining
Industry: Metals and mining
Age: 59
Country: South Africa
Residence: Johannesburg

  • Patrice Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became the first black African billionaire on the Forbes list in 2008.
  • In 2016, he founded African Rainbow Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in Africa.
  • Motsepe is also a shareholder in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company, and the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns football club.
  • Motsepe was elected president of the Confederation of African Football, the continent’s governing body, in March 2021.
  • In 1994, he became the first black partner at Johannesburg law firm Bowman Gilfillan, and he later founded a mining services contracting firm.
  • He purchased low-producing gold mine shafts in 1997 and later turned them profitable.

    The Billionaires List, Africa’s Richest People 2022

10. KOOS BEKKER

Net worth: $2.7 billion
Rank in 2021: 10
Net worth in 2021: $2.8 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Media, investments
Industry: Media and entertainment
Age: 69
Country: South Africa
Residence: Cape Town

  • Koos Bekker is renowned for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into a powerhouse in e-commerce and cable television.
  • In 2001, he led Naspers to pay a reported $34 million for a third of Chinese Internet firm Tencent Holdings – possibly the largest venture investment ever made.
  • In 2019, Naspers invested in two publicly traded companies, entertainment firm MultiChoice Group and Prosus, in which Tencent has a stake.
  • Naspers sold a 2% stake in Tencent in 2018; in April 2021, Prosus sold nearly $15 billion in Tencent, increasing its stake to 29%.
  • Bekker, who stepped down as CEO of Naspers in March 2014, was re-elected chairman in April 2015.

    .

10. STRIVE MASIYIWA

Net worth: $2.7 billion
Rank in 2020: 16
Net worth in 2021: $1.2 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Telecom
Industry:Telecom
Age: 60
Country: Zimbabwe
Residence: London

  • Strive Masiyiwa overcame long-standing government opposition to launch the mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his birth country of Zimbabwe in 1998.
  • He owns slightly more than half of the publicly traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is part of his larger Econet Group.
  • Masiyiwa also owns slightly more than half of the private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to African telecom companies.
  • His other holdings include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho, as well as investments in African fintech and power distribution firms.
  • He and his wife Tsitsi established the Higherlife Foundation to help orphaned and impoverished children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi, and Lesotho.

 

12. MOHAMED MANSOUR

Net worth: $2.5 billion
Rank in 2021: 11
Net worth in 2021: $2.5 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Diversified
Industry: Diversified
Age: 74
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • Mohamed Mansour is the CEO of the Mansour Group, which was founded in 1952 by his father Loutfy (D.1976) and employs 60,000 people.
  • Mansour opened General Motors dealerships in Egypt in 1975 and went on to become one of GM’s largest distributors worldwide.
  • Mansour Group also has exclusive distribution rights in Egypt and seven other African countries for Caterpillar equipment.
  • During the Hosni Mubarak regime, he was Egypt’s Minister of Transportation from 2006 to 2009.
  • His brothers Yasseen and Youssef, who own a stake in the family business, are also billionaires, as is his son Loutfy, who heads the private equity arm Man Capital.

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13. AZIZ AKHANNOUCH & FAMILY

Net worth: $2.2 billion
Rank in 2021: 12
Net worth in 2021: $2 billion
Origin of wealth: Petroleum, diversified
Age: 61
Country: Morocco
Residence: Casablanca

  • Aziz Akhannouch is the majority shareholder of Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar conglomerate founded in 1932 by his father and a partner, Ahmed Wakrim.
  • Through publicly traded Afriquia Gaz and Maghreb Oxygene, it has interests in petroleum, gas, and chemicals.
  • In September 2021, Akhannouch was appointed Prime Minister of Morocco.

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14. MICHIEL LE ROUX

Net worth:$1.7 billion
Rank in 2021: 16
Net worth in 2021: $1.2 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Banking
Industry: Finance and investments
Age: 72
Country: South Africa
Residence: Stellenbosch

  • Michiel Le Roux of South Africa founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns approximately 11% of the company.
  • The bank, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, aims to serve South Africa’s growing middle class.
  • From 2007 to 2016, he was the chairman of the Capitec board of directors, and he is still on the board.
  • Le Roux was previously the CEO of Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town’s outskirts.

15. OTHMAN BENJELLOUN & FAMILY

Net worth: $1.5 billion
Rank in 2021: 15
Net worth in 2021: $1.3 billion
Origin of wealth: Banking, insurance
Industry: Finance and investments
Age: 89
Country: Morocco
Residence: Casablanca

  • Othman Benjelloun is the CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa, which operates in over 20 African countries.
  • His father was a shareholder in RMA, a Moroccan insurance company, which Benjelloun grew into a market leader.
  • He owns a stake in the Moroccan arm of the French telecom firm Orange through his holding company FinanceCom.
  • In 2014, he unveiled a $500 million plan to construct the 55-story Mohammed VI Tower in Rabat. It will be one of Africa’s tallest structures.
  • FinanceCom is a part of a multibillion-dollar project in Tangiers to build a multibillion-dollar tech city that will house 200 Chinese companies.

15. MOHAMMED DEWJI

Net worth: $1.5 billion
Rank in 2021: 13
Net worth in 2021: $1.6 billion
Origin of wealth: Diversified
Industry: Diversified
Age: 46
Country: Tanzania
Residence: Dar es Salaam

  • Mohammed Dewji is the CEO of MeTL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded in the 1970s by his father.
  • METL operates in eastern, southern, and central Africa in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages, and edible oils.
  • METL currently operates in at least six African countries and plans to expand into several more.
  • In 2016, Dewji, Tanzania’s only billionaire, signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of his fortune to charitable causes.
  • Dewji was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in October 2018 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and released nine days later.

15. YOUSSEF MANSOUR

Net worth: $1.5 billion
Rank in 2021: 14
Net worth in 2021: $1.5 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Diversified
Industry: Diversified
Age: 76
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • Youssef Mansour is the chairman of the Mansour Group, a family-owned conglomerate founded in 1952 by his father Loutfy (d.1976).
  • Mansour Group is Egypt’s and several other countries’ exclusive distributor of GM vehicles and Caterpillar equipment.
  • He is in charge of the consumer goods division, which includes the Metro supermarket chain as well as L’Oreal’s sole distribution rights in Egypt.
  • Mohamed and Yasseen, Mohamed’s younger brothers, are also billionaires and part owners of the Mansour Group.

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18. YASSEEN MANSOUR

Net worth$1.1 billion
Rank in 2021: 18
Net worth in 2021: $1.1 billion
Self-made
Origin of wealth: Diversified
Industry: Diversified
Age:
 60
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

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