Africa’s billionaires saw their wealth increase significantly in 2021, similar to the previous year, despite the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on business activities and the operations of companies and financial assets controlled by these ultra-wealthy individuals during the year.
According to Forbes, 18 of these individuals had a net worth of $84.9 billion at the end of 2021, which is 15-percent or $4.7 billion more than their combined net worth of $73.8 billion at the end of 2020.
Billionaires such as Aliko Dangote and Abdul Samad Rabiu have seen their wealth increase by more than $1 billion since the beginning of the year, while Natie Kirsh, Johann Rupert, and Mohammed Al Amoudi have seen their wealth decrease by more than $200 million.
This is how they stand as at January 25, 2022.
#1 Aliko Dangote
Net worth: $20.4 billion
For the eleventh year in a row, Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote remains the continent’s richest man, with a net worth of $20.4 billion derived from his stake in Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer.
So far in 2021, the billionaire’s net worth has increased by more than $1.3 billion due to an increase in the share price of his flagship company, Dangote Cement Plc, as investors react to news of the leading cement maker’s planned share buy back program.
#2 Johann Rupert
Net worth: $11.4 billion
Nationality: South African
Johann Rupert, South Africa’s richest man, ranks as the continent’s second-richest man with a net worth of $11.4 billion. The billionaire saw his wealth rise by $3.88 billion in 2021 as shares in his Luxury goods holding company, Richemont, increased by more than 60-percent during the year.
His net worth has dropped by $565 million since the beginning of the year as investors profit from Richemont shares.
#3 Nicky Oppenheimer
Net worth: $8.18 billion
Nationality: South African
Nicky Oppenheimer, who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo-American a decade ago, has a net worth of $8.18 billion, making him the third-richest man in Africa and the second-richest man in South Africa.
The majority of his fortune is held in private equity investments in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.
His net worth has increased by $225 million since the beginning of the year, owing to the revaluation of his private equity investments.
#4 Natie Kirsh
Net worth: $7.68 billion
Nathan “Natie” Kirsh of Swaziland is the fourth-richest man in Africa, with a fortune of $7.68 billion at the time of writing. Kirsh made his fortune through his ownership of Kirsh Group, a closely held conglomerate that owns a majority stake in the food supply company Jetro Holdings.
So far in 2021, Kirsh’s net worth has dropped by more than $595 million, or 7.2 percent, as a result of a drop in the valuation of his private equity investments.
#5 Abdul Samad Rabiu
Net worth: $7.5 billion
With a net worth of $7.5 billion, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of one of Africa’s fastest growing manufacturing conglomerates, BUA Group, ranks as the fifth-richest man in Africa and the second-richest man in Nigeria.
The majority of the billionaire’s wealth comes from his 97 percent stake in his cement company, BUA Cement Plc, while the recent increase in his net worth to $7.5 billion was driven by the recent listing of his consolidated food business, BUA Foods.
#6 Mike Adenuga
Net worth: $6.7 billion
Mike Adenuga, the founder of Nigerian telecom company Globacom Limited and majority owner of Nigeria’s pioneer petroleum marketer, Conoil Plc ranks as the third-richest man in Nigeria and the sixth richest on the continent of Africa.
As of press time, January 25, his wealth is valued at $6.7 billion thanks to the valuation of his interest in Globacom Limited, Nigeria’s third-largest telecom service provider.
#7 Mohammed Al Amoudi
Net worth: $6.45 billion
Mohammed Al Amoudi is the richest man in Ethiopia and the seventh-richest man in Africa, with a net worth of $6.45 billion.
The majority of the Ethiopian billionaire’s wealth is derived from his industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Morocco, as well as his stake in Svenska Petroleum Exploration, Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, and a 67 percent stake in Samir, Morocco’s sole oil refiner.
#8 Nassef Sawiris
Net worth: $6.29 billion
Egypt’s richest man and a scion of Egypt’s richest family Nassef Sawiris ranks as the eighth-richest man in Africa with a wealth of $6.29 billion at the time of drafting this report.
The majority of the Sawiris’ $6.29 billion fortune stems from his stake in Dutch fertilizer producer OCI N.V. and his 3.72 percent stake in German sportswear manufacturer Adidas.
#9 Issad Rebrab
Net worth: $5.1 billion
Issad Rebrab, the founder and CEO of Cevital and Algeria’s richest man, is the ninth-richest man in Africa, with a fortune of $5.1 billion derived from his business interest in Cevital Group.
Cevital Group is Algeria’s largest privately held company, and it owns one of the world’s largest sugar refineries, capable of producing 2 million tonnes of refined sugar per year.
#10 Naguib Sawiris
Net worth: $3.4 billion
With a fortune of $3.4 billion, Naguib Sawiris, the elder brother of Egypt’s richest man, Nassef Sawiris, is the second-richest man in Egypt and the tenth-richest man in Africa.
The billionaire amassed his fortune after selling Orascom Telecom to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction in 2011. He is currently a shareholder in Orascom TMT Investments and Ora Developers, a real estate developer.