In January 2020, Forbes compiled a list of the richest people in Africa. The business magazine found dollar billionaires in just eight of the continent’s 54 countries. However, that was twice as many states as in 2011.
According to Forbes, this is what the ranking of African countries with the super-rich looked like in early 2020:
- 1 Egypt and South Africa: five billionaires each
- 3 Nigeria: four
- 4 Morocco: two
- 8 Algeria, Angola, Tanzania, Zimbabwe: one each
Africa’s super rich and the corona crisis
But even in Africa, being a billionaire in Corona times is not set in stone. In mid-March 2020, “Forbes” had 226 fewer billionaires worldwide than just twelve days earlier. We therefore prefer to stick to the annual billionaires list of the business magazine when ranking the richest people in Africa. The former apartheid stronghold of South Africa only had four billionaires on it. Nigeria had gained a super-rich for this, and the same was true for Egypt. In general, the top 10 seem to show: Africa’s richest billionaires seem to have come through the initial phase of the corona crisis quite well.
The “Forbes” ranking basically has a catch: the estimated wealth is converted into US dollars. In this way, fluctuating exchange rates can suddenly destroy or create assets. Currency fluctuations are also dangerous to the super-rich in other respects. Zimbabwe banned all foreign currencies and introduced a new dollar in the summer of 2019. According to Forbes, the ensuing inflation caused the country’s only billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa, to lose half of his fortune in one blow. He was just on the list at $ 1.1 billion.
According to Forbes, these are the richest dollar billionaires in Africa
@imago images / ZUMA Press
# 10 Patrice Motsepe
Every second billionaire on the global “Forbes” list had lost their wealth in spring 2020. Patrice Motsepe was hit hard. The founder of the mining company African Rainbow Minerals from South Africa was the first black African to join the billionaires’ club in 2008. As of April 7, 2020, the 58-year-old’s assets had almost halved to $ 1.4 billion (2019: $ 2.4 billion). It was ranked 1513 worldwide. However, the business of the founder of the private equity firm African Rainbow Personal-Financial.com seems to be flourishing during the Corona crisis. In mid-September, Motsepe’s fortune had climbed back to $ 2.1 billion, according to Forbes. Maybe Motsepe’s descent was intentional. According to the report, the South African was the first African to follow the example of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2013 and announced that he would donate at least half of his fortune.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 9 Naguib Sawiris
Naguib Sawiris belongs to the minority of the richest people in the world who were able to increase their wealth in the crisis year 2019. It increased slightly from $ 2.9 billion to $ 3.0 billion. That was enough for 680th place in the “Forbes” ranking worldwide. According to the information, Sawiris is the scion of one of the richest families in Egypt. In 2011 he sold his telecommunications company Orascom Telecom to the Russian group VimpelCom (today: Veon) for a billion euro amount. The 66-year-old investor is the majority owner of Euronews.
# 8 Abdulsamad Rabiu
All three billionaires in Nigeria are among the ten richest Africans. It starts in eighth place (worldwide: 712th place) Abdulsamad Rabiu. The founder of the conglomerate BUA (cement, sugar, real estate) was able to increase his assets by 50 percent to 2.9 billion dollars within a year. In 2015 he had entered the ranking with exactly one billion dollars.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 7 Mohamed Mansour
The super-rich can only dream of the growth of some African tycoons on other continents. The fortune of the former Egyptian transport minister Mohamed Mansour (72) increased according to “Forbes” by around 50 percent from 2.3 to 3.3 billion dollars. The head of the Mansour Group was thus ranked 590 worldwide. The group was founded by his father Loutfy. The company, with around 60,000 employees, is said to be one of General Motors’ largest sales partners worldwide and has exclusive rights to Caterpillar equipment in eight African countries.
# 6 Issad Rebrab & family
Issad Rebrab (76, left) was also looking up in the current ranking. The founder and CEO of Algeria’s largest privately owned company, Cevital, was worth $ 4.2 billion in April, according to Forbes, $ 500 million more than the previous year. Cevital has one of the largest sugar refineries in the world and production facilities for water treatment equipment in Europe. Rebrab spent eight months in prison on corruption charges until early 2020. Cevital denied a debt of the company boss.
@imago images / Gallo Images
# 5 Johann Rupert & family
According to Forbes, the South African Johann Rupert is the fifth richest person in Africa. However, the chairman of the Swiss luxury group Compagnie Financiere Richemont (Cartier, Montblanc) has lost almost a fifth of the family’s wealth. According to the ranking, it decreased from $ 5.5 billion to $ 4.6 billion. According to the report, the 70-year-old South African at the time of publication holds 25 percent of the Luxembourg investment company Reinet.
@imago images / ITAR-TASS
# 4 Nassef Sawiris
Nassef Sawiris is the brother of Naguib Sawiris, ranked ninth on this list, and the richest person in Egypt. In contrast to his brother, the 59-year-old lost his fortune. According to Forbes, it fell from $ 6.4 billion to $ 5.0 billion. Sawiris sits on the supervisory board of Adidas and heads, among other things, OCI, one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer manufacturers in the world.
# 3 Mike Adenuga
The gaps between the super-rich in Africa are comparatively large. Otherwise Mike Adenuga (left) would have had a crash within a few months. At the beginning of 2020, Forbes had estimated the Nigerian’s net worth at $ 7.7 billion. In April it was down to $ 5.6 billion. Even so, Adenuga held third place among the richest people in Africa. The 67-year-old made his fortune with mobile communications (Globacom) and petroleum (Conoil Producing).
@imago images / Gallo Images
# 2 Nicky Oppenheimer & family
Nicky Oppenheimer (left) once managed the diamond dealer DeBeers in the third generation and privatized the company in 2001. In 2012, he broke with family tradition when he sold his 40 percent stake in DeBeers to the Anglo American mining company for 5.1 billion. Oppenheimer’s fortune has remained largely the same over the past ten years. It was estimated by “Forbes” in April 2020 at 7.4 billion dollars (2019: 7.3 billion dollars). Oppenheimer (75) was 1966 worldwide and was the second richest person on the African continent.
@imago images / Xinhua Africa
# 1 Aliko Dangote
The richest person in Africa comes from Nigeria. Aliko Dangote (left) defended the top position on the continent with 8.3 billion dollars (162nd place worldwide). However, his lead shrank tremendously. In the 2019 ranking, the assets of the founder of the largest African cement manufacturer Dagote Cement were estimated at $ 10.4 billion. In 2014 it was even $ 25.0 billion. The 63-year-old is in good company. Dangote currently shares number 162 worldwide with investor George Soros.