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Africa’s top 10 billionaires in 2024

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Africa’s top 10 billionaires in 2024
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Africa is widely recognized as one of the most challenging environments globally to establish and sustain a billion-dollar fortune.

Global investors remain cautious about its stock exchanges, while businesses grapple with economic strains, inadequate infrastructure, and fluctuating exchange rates.

Despite these challenges, Africa has produced billionaires (about 20) whose collective net worth exceeds $80 billion as of April 2024 according to Forbes estimates. Femi Otedola, for example, has seen his fortune rise to $1.8 billion, reflecting a trend of notable rebounds. However, some argue that entrenched family wealth or close government ties still dominate Africa’s richest ranks.

Take, for instance, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, whose fortune surged by $2.2 billion to reach $16.1 billion between January 22, 2024, and April 12, 2024, despite the naira’s devaluation in 2023 and other adversities.

Undoubtedly, Africa presents challenges for businesses. Nevertheless, the continent’s top 10 billionaires are forging ahead, undeterred by the obstacles they face.

10. Koos Bekker
Networth-$2.7 billion

Koos Bekker is South African billionaire who led Naspers, a publisher in 2001, acquiring a significant stake in the Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings for a reported $34 million—an investment widely regarded as one of the most lucrative venture decisions in history.

By 2019, Naspers restructured its portfolio, allocating assets to two publicly traded entities: entertainment firm MultiChoice Group and Prosus, which houses the valuable Tencent stake. Bekker retired as CEO of Naspers in March 2014, but returned to the company as chairman in April 2015.

9. Mohammed Mansour
Networth-$3.2 billion

Mohamed Mansour leads Mansour Group, which traces its roots back to its establishment by his father, Loutfy, in 1952. Mansour’s influence expanded significantly when he introduced General Motors dealerships to Egypt in 1975, subsequently becoming one of GM’s major distributors globally. Additionally, Mansour Group holds exclusive distribution rights for Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and seven other African nations.

Beyond his business endeavors, Mansour has played a role in Egyptian politics, serving as the country’s minister of transportation from 2006 to 2009 during the tenure of President Hosni Mubarak.

8. Naguib Sawiris
Networth-$3.8 billion

Naguib Sawiris, is from Egypt’s most affluent families. Notably, he engineered a lucrative deal by selling Orascom Telecom to Russian telecom giant VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction back in 2011. Currently serving as the chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, Sawiris oversees the conglomerate’s diverse portfolio, which includes stakes in various ventures such as an asset manager in Egypt and the renowned Italian internet company, Italiaonline.

Beyond his telecom businesses, Sawiris has diversified his interests into the hospitality sector. Notably, he spearheaded the development of Silversands, a luxurious resort located on the Caribbean island of Grenada.

7. Nathan Kirsh
Networth-$6.8 billion

Nathan “Natie” Kirsh’s wealth is primarily derived from his ownership stake in U.S.-based Jetro Holdings, a company that encompasses popular restaurant supply stores like Jetro Cash and Carry and Restaurant Depot. Holding a commanding 70% share in the business, Kirsh oversees its operations, which revolve around supplying wholesale goods to various establishments, including bodegas, small stores, and restaurants across the United States.

Kirsh’s entrepreneurial journey traces back to his roots in Swaziland, where he laid the foundation for his fortune by establishing a corn milling business in 1958. Building on this initial success, he ventured into wholesale food distribution in apartheid-era South Africa.

6. Mike Adenuga
Networth-$7.0 billion

Mike Adenuga is one of Nigeria’s esteemed entrepreneurs with businesses in telecoms and oil production. Notably, his brainchild, Globacom, is part of the country’s largest mobile phone network. He’s enterprise, Conoil Producing, oversees operations across six oil blocks situated in the Niger Delta, contributing significantly to the nation’s energy sector.

Globacom spearheaded the development of Glo-1, an expansive 6,100-mile-long submarine Internet cable linking Nigeria to the United Kingdom via Ghana and Portugal, thereby enhancing connectivity and digital infrastructure in the region. Additionally, Adenuga holds an ownership stake of 74% in the publicly traded gasoline firm Conoil, further solidifying his influence in Nigeria’s energy landscape.

5. Abdul Samad Rabiu
Networth-$7.0 billion

Abdulsamad Rabiu is the chairman of BUA Group, a leading Nigerian conglomerate renowned for its activities in cement production, sugar refining, and real estate, has been making notable strides in the business landscape. In a significant move in early January 2020, Rabiu orchestrated the merger of his privately-owned Obu Cement company with the publicly listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, of which he held controlling interest.

This led to the creation of BUA Cement Plc, a powerhouse entity now trading on the Nigerian stock exchange, with a substantial 98.2% ownership stake. Furthermore, Rabiu holds a 95% ownership share in BUA Foods, a prominent publicly traded food conglomerate.

 

4. Nassef Sawiris
Networth-$8.6 billion

Nassef Sawiris, an investor and Egypt’s richest man, made headlines in December 2020 when he acquired a notable 5% stake in New York-listed firm Madison Square Garden Sports, which boasts ownership of the NBA Knicks and the NHL Rangers teams. Sawiris leads OCI, a prominent nitrogen fertilizer producer with facilities located in Texas and Iowa, trading on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange.

Additionally, Orascom Construction, an engineering and building firm under his purview, is listed on both the Cairo exchange and Nasdaq Dubai. Notably, his portfolio includes a substantial nearly 6% holding in the renowned German sportswear giant Adidas. Sawiris further made waves in the sports world by partnering with Fortress Investment Group’s Wes Edens to acquire the Premier League’s Aston Villa Football Club.

3. Nicky Oppenheimer
Networth-$9.5 billion

Nicky Oppenheimer, 78-year-old inheritor of the De Beers diamond legacy, made headlines in 2012 by selling his 40% stake in the company to mining conglomerate Anglo American for a staggering $5.1 billion in cash. As the third generation to helm De Beers, Oppenheimer orchestrated its transition to private ownership in 2001.

For an impressive 85 years until 2012, the Oppenheimer family wielded significant influence in the global diamond industry. Beyond diamonds, Oppenheimer ventured into aviation, founding Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg in 2014, specializing in chartered flights.

2. Johan Rupert
Networth $10.5 billion

Johann Rupert is the man behind, lifestyle brand Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a renowned Swiss luxury goods company recognized for brands like Cartier and Montblanc. Established in 1998, Richemont emerged from a spinoff of assets previously held by Rembrandt Group Limited, founded by his father Anton in the 1940s. Rupert holds a 7% stake in Remgro, a diversified investment firm where he also holds the position of chairman. Additionally, he owns 27% of Reinet, an investment holding company based in Luxembourg.

1. Aliko Dangote
Networth-$16.1 billion

Aliko Dangote, the wealthiest individual in Africa for the 13 years, established and currently leads Dangote Cement, the largest cement manufacturer on the continent. Through a holding company, he possesses an 85% stake in the publicly traded Dangote Cement. With a production capacity of 48.6 million metric tons annually, Dangote Cement operates in 10 African countries. In March 2022, Dangote’s fertilizer plant in Nigeria commenced operations after years of development. Additionally, construction of the Dangote Refinery has been completed.

 

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After losing several millions, Kessington Adebutu seeks $145 million capital raise

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Wema Bank, a leading financial services provider partly owned by Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu, is seeking approval to
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Wema Bank, a leading financial services provider partly owned by Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu, is seeking approval to raise N200 billion ($145 million) in fresh capital. The bank will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) electronically on May 28, 2024, where shareholders will vote on the proposal.

The capital increase aims to strengthen Wema Bank’s regulatory compliance and fuel its business expansion plans, according to an AGM notice. The notice details a multi-pronged approach to achieving the capital raise, subject to shareholder approval. This includes public offerings, rights issues, and private placements.

Boosting capital, expanding footprint

As part of its growth strategy, Wema Bank also seeks to increase its issued share capital from N6.43 billion ($4.7 million) to N25 billion ($18.3 million). This will be achieved through the issuance of an additional 37.14 billion ordinary shares, each with a par value of 50 kobo. The new shares will be on par with existing shares.

The AGM will present shareholders with special resolutions for consideration. These resolutions empower the board of directors to allocate and issue various securities, including ordinary shares, preference shares, notes, and bonds, to execute the capital raise. Additionally, the resolutions authorize the board to implement strategic measures to comply with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recapitalization directives.

Innovation amidst challenges

As one of Nigeria’s keading , Wema Bank remains a prominent player in Nigeria’s financial landscape. Renowned for its innovative spirit, the bank launched ALAT, Africa’s first fully digital bank. With decades of experience and a commitment to progress, Wema Bank retains its position as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s financial ecosystem.

Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu, founder of Premier Lotto Limited, the country’s oldest gaming company, owns a significant stake (28.09 percent) in Wema Bank through Neemtree Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) established in 2013 for targeted acquisitions. His daughter, Abolanle Matel-Okoh, also holds a 4.54 percent stake in the bank.

 

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Auwalu Rano: Meet Ice block seller who became billionaire, owns 120 filling stations, 600 trucks, 60m litre tank farm

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Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano, popularly known as A.A Rano, transformed from a humble boy from Kano Village into a billionaire magnate,
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Alhaji Auwalu Abdullahi Rano, popularly known as A.A Rano, transformed from a humble boy from Kano Village into a billionaire magnate, overseeing a conglomerate that includes 120 filling stations across Nigeria.

Born into an average family in Lausu, Kano State, Rano started small, with an ice block and groundnut oil business, including other local items.

Rano has gone into building a multi-billion naira enterprise spanning various sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

Today, Rano owns AA Rano oil & Gas industry in Nigeria with 56 ML Tank farm in Lagos, with 120 retail outlet/ fillng stations across Nigeria and over 600 trucks & LPG terminals as well as acquired vessel (M.T LAUSAU).

His ventures include RanoGaz, a state-of-the-art Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) terminal, a rice milling company, Rano Lubricant, Rano Air, Lausu Marine and Logistics, AA Rano Terminal, and AA Rano Road Haulage.

 

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Jim Ovia’s Zenith Bank stake sees $14.63-million drop amid share price fall

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Jim Ovia, Nigeria’s richest banker and a key figure in Nigeria’s banking evolution, is set to receive a $12.7-million payout from his stake i
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Jim Ovia, Nigeria’s wealthiest banker and a key figure in the country’s banking industry, has seen the market value of his stake in Zenith Bank decline significantly due to a recent drop in the lender’s share price.

The leading Nigerian banker and business executive, who ranks as one of Africa’s wealthiest individuals, has witnessed an N18.26 billion ($14.63 million) decline in the market value of his Zenith Bank stake over the past 13 days. This decline is driven by the sustained fall in the shares of the prominent Nigerian Exchange (NGX)-listed lender.

This recent downturn follows a surge in the market value of Jim Ovia’s stake in Zenith Bank, which increased by $41 million between Feb. 28 and April 8, rising from N164.6 billion ($132.2 million) to N215.56 billion ($173.1 million).

Zenith Bank’s market cap falls below $1 billion

Zenith Bank, a leading commercial bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is not only a prominent financial services provider in Nigeria and anglophone West Africa but also holds the title of Nigeria’s most profitable bank. It is also one of the largest listed financial services groups on the NGX.

The bank recently declared a final dividend payout of N109.89 billion ($88.3 million) for the 2023 fiscal year, showcasing its strong financial performance. This record dividend payout underscores its commitment to shareholder value and its position as a leader in Nigeria’s banking sector.

In recent times, its shares have declined nine percent on the NGX, falling from N40.00 ($0.0323) on April 12 to N36.60 ($0.02959) on Thursday. This decline has pushed the bank’s market capitalization below $1 billion, resulting in losses for shareholders, including Ovia, a significant stakeholder in the Lagos-based lender.

Jim Ovia’s stake slumps below $150 million

Jim Ovia, a pivotal figure in Nigeria’s banking industry’s evolution and digital transformation, founded Zenith Bank in 1990. With a 16.2 percent stake in the financial services group, comprising 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares, he remains the wealthiest banker in the country.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Ovia’s stake has decreased by N18.26 billion ($14.63 million) over the past 13 days, declining from N202.88 billion ($162.53 million) on April 12 to N184.62 billion ($147.90 million) on Thursday. Despite this setback, Ovia retains his status as Nigeria’s richest banker, underscoring his success as a leading businessman in the nation.

 

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Access Holdings’ $1.71B capital raise: Aig-Imoukhuede’s global vision unveiled

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Nigerian financial services giant Access Holdings, led by seasoned banker and business executive Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has received
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Nigerian financial services giant Access Holdings, led by seasoned banker and business executive Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has received shareholder approval for a N2.12 trillion ($1.71 billion) capital raise, marking a significant step towards its ambitious global expansion plan.

The endorsement at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) paves the way for a multi-tranche, multi-currency, and multi-instrument capital raise program. The proceeds, totaling N1.755 trillion ($1.42 billion) and N365 billion ($295.3 million), will fuel the group’s global aspirations and bolster its ability to achieve its 2027 strategic objectives.

Shifting gears for consolidation and efficiency

Access Holdings outlined its future strategy, which will transition into a consolidation and efficiency phase starting in the second half of 2024. This aligns with the group’s five-year plan designed to expedite its long-term goals.

The company has already made significant progress in 2024, securing four strategic deals, including acquisitions in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, alongside a Nigerian insurance brokerage firm. Additionally, regulatory approval for a new consumer lending subsidiary in Nigeria underscores Access Holdings’ commitment to diversified growth.

Renewed leadership and unwavering commitment

Access Holdings shareholders received renewed assurances on sustainable growth and value creation at the annual general meeting (AGM). Chairman Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, alongside newly appointed non-executive directors Olusegun Ogbonnewo and Ojinika Olaghere, addressed the gathering.

Aig-Imoukhuede’s return to the helm, following the passing of banking titan Herbert Wigwe, was met with widespread support. Shareholders acknowledged his key role in the bank’s prior growth trajectory.

Unanimous backing for the capital raise program underscored investor confidence in Access Holdings’ strategic direction. Proceeds from the rights issue will be used to strengthen working capital and fuel organic growth across the group’s banking and non-banking arms.

Echoing CBN’s call for recapitalization

In a post-meeting interaction, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede reaffirmed the group’s commitment to industry recapitalization and delivering consistent returns to shareholders. He emphasized the importance of strengthening capital buffers in the face of currency devaluation and market volatility, echoing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recent calls for recapitalization.

The significant increase in Access Holdings’ issued share capital, from N17.77 billion ($14.36 million) to N26.659 billion ($21.55 million), reflects the company’s proactive approach to fortifying its financial position and underwriting its expansion initiatives.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede: Leading the charge

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a titan in both business and philanthropy, remains at the helm of Access Holdings as it steers toward becoming a global financial force.

Access Holdings’ stellar 2023 financial performance serves as a springboard for its global ambitions. Group profit surged an impressive 307 percent year-on-year to a record N619.32 billion ($451.7 million), compared to N152.2 billion ($111 million) in 2022.

This growth, achieved under the prior leadership of the late Herbert Wigwe, was driven by the group’s total comprehensive income, which skyrocketed to N1.031 trillion ($752 million) from N233.3 billion ($170.17 million) the year before.

Credit: billionaires.africa

 

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BUA owner, Abdul Samad Rabiu loses $1.2 billion as naira weakens against U.S. dollar

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Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing manufacturing and industrial
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Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing manufacturing and industrial conglomerates, has seen his net worth tumble $1.2 billion amid the recent weakness of the naira against the U.S. dollar.

Rabiu, ranked as Nigeria’s third-richest person and Africa’s sixth by Forbes, has experienced a notable drop in his wealth figures in recent times.

Since the start of the week, Rabiu’s net worth has fallen from $7.1 billion to $5.9 billion, a significant $1.2-billion decline. This drop has pushed him down to the 497th richest person globally, highlighting the severity of the impact.

Naira weakness behind Rabiu’s setback

The recent weakness of the naira has been cited as the primary cause behind Rabiu’s recent financial setback. The Nigerian currency has weakened for four straight days, erasing earlier gains after reaching three-month highs.

This decline is compounded by dwindling domestic dollar liquidity, further pressured by Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves falling to a seven-year low.

On Tuesday, the naira depreciated further against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,300 naira per dollar at the official market. In response to this worrying trend, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intensified efforts to stabilize the exchange rate.

A new circular released Tuesday revealed the CBN is selling additional dollars to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators.

Wealth anchored in public listings

Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s fortune is largely tied to his publicly traded companies. Rabiu maintains significant control, with a 99.8-percent stake in BUA Foods and a 96.29 percent stake in BUA Cement.

BUA Cement, the nation’s second-largest cement producer, boasts a market capitalization of N4.85 trillion ($3.9 billion). BUA Foods, the country’s most valuable listed food and agri-business company, holds a market cap of N6.84 trillion ($5.53 billion).

Naira volatility ripples through wealth

However, Rabiu, like many Nigerian business leaders, faces challenges due to the naira’s volatility against the dollar. This broader currency weakness raises critical questions about Nigeria’s economic resilience in the face of external pressures.

The decline in Rabiu’s net worth exemplifies the significant impact of currency fluctuations on the fortunes of Nigeria’s wealthy. This trend potentially signals wider challenges for the nation’s economy and top earners.

Credit: billionaires.africa

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Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya seeks $1-million funding for initiative

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Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is leveraging his skills to raise $1 million for Chess in Slums Africa (CISA), an initiative he
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Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya is leveraging his skills to raise $1 million for Chess in Slums Africa (CISA), an initiative he founded in 2018.

CISA focuses on educational development and youth empowerment in underserved communities across Africa.

Onakoya recently shattered the world record for the longest chess marathon, playing for more than 60 hours in New York City’s Times Square. This feat not only secured him a Guinness World Record but also boosted fundraising efforts for CISA, which aims to improve educational opportunities for African children.

Tunde Onakoya’s marathon for change

Playing against Shawn Martinez for two and a half days straight, Onakoya’s daring move secured a new record and fueled his non-profit’s $1-million fundraising campaign. CISA, in partnership with the U.S. non-profit “The Gift of Chess,” aims to distribute 1 million chess sets to impoverished communities by 2030, enriching the lives of underprivileged children.

Onakoya announced the achievement on social media, highlighting his dedication to supporting African education. “We have done it,” he wrote. “This is our why — the reason we are doing this… Together, we can make this happen.”

“This initiative will help us distribute one million chess sets by 2030,” Onakoya said, emphasizing his role as a board member of “The Gift of Chess.” The marathon, held in Times Square, surpassed the previous record set by Norwegians Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad in 2018.

CISA’s chess empowerment mission

Founded in 2018, CISA utilizes chess as a tool to empower children in marginalized African communities. The organization’s core mission is to foster critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and strategic planning in young minds, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being.

Onakoya’s record-breaking feat doubles as a million-dollar fundraising campaign. He aims to empower one million underprivileged children within five years by providing free chess instruction, after-school programs, and tournaments.

Onakoya’s unwavering determination serves as an inspiration. He showcases the power of passion and perseverance in driving positive change. Through his efforts, he strives to make a lasting impact on the lives of African children, demonstrating the transformative potential of education and community support.

Credit: billionaires.africa

 

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