AFRICA’S BILLIONAIRES FOR 2023
Africa has no shortage of exceptionally wealthy individuals and families across all countries, with the accumulated wealth of Africa’s wealthiest equating to almost $81.5 billion dollars. To put this in rand value based on December 2023’s exchange rate, is R153 trillion rand which to put it into context, is twelve figures. This is almost three billion down in comparison to last year’s $84.9 billion, even though one more billionaire was added to the list. Last year was a good year for Africa’s 19 billionaires, whereas this year their fortunes took a knock, along with the rest of the world due to the current economic crisis and the impact that this has had on stock prices and equity values.
Even though there are 19-dollar billionaires across Africa, they are only from seven countries. These countries are South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morrocco, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Algeria. Surprisingly, despite its huge economic development, Kenya does not feature on this list just yet. South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt dominate in terms of the number of billionaires from each country. There are no women who currently feature on the list as individual contributors yet either. Number one on Forbes’ list of billionaires for the twelfth-year running is Aliko Dangote who has an estimated net worth of $13.5 billion. Dangote is officially Africa’s richest person and made his wealth through his publicly listed company, Dangote Cement. He still owns 85% of this through another holding company. Outside of this, however, Dangote also has interests in other manufacturing facets like fertilizer as well as an oil refinery.
Coming in at number two is the Rupert family led by Johan Rupert. Their estimated net worth comes in at $10.7 billion and is off the back of the Swiss-based luxury goods firm called Compagnie Financiere Richemont which is well known for brands such as Cartier and Mont-Blanc. At number three is another very well-known South African family – the Oppenheimer’s lead by Nicky Oppenheimer. The Oppenheimer’s are of the DeBeer’s legacy, with Nicky being the third generation to run the company. In 2012, Nicky sold 40% of his share of the company to Anglo American for a cool $5.1 billion In cash. Completing the top five are Abdulsamad Rabiu from Nigeria and Nassef Sawiris from Egypt with an estimated $7.6 billion and $7.3 billion, respectively. Although a few of the billionaires have interests outside of Africa, Forbes qualifies them as African billionaires based on the fact that they still reside on the continent and have their primary businesses here too. It will be interesting to see how the list changes after a tumultuous 2023.