The 23 billionaires that Forbes found in Africa, up from 21 billionaires last year, are worth a combined $75.4 billion, compared to $70 billion in January 2017.
The richest African, for the seventh year in a row, is Nigerian cement and commodities tycoon Aliko Dangote, with a net worth that Forbes pegs at $12.2 billion. That’s up $100 million from a year ago. Dangote is looking beyond cement, his most valuable asset and has been investing in a fertilizer production company and a large oil refinery.
Dangote Fertilizer is expected to start operations in the second quarter this year.
Zimbabwe gets its first billionaire this year, Telecom magnate Strive Masiyiwa, who chairs the Econet Group.
Shares of Zimbabwe-listed mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe have surged in value over the past year, Masiyiwa owns more than half of that company. He also has a majority stake in fiber optic firm Liquid Telecom, which raised $700 million in a bond offering in July 2017. Forbes estimates Masiyiwa’s net worth at $1.7 billion.
Just two of the 23 list members are women, unchanged from last year. Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s longtime former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is worth an estimated $2.7 billion this year, down from $3.2 billion a year ago.
Dos Santos net worth dropped in part due to a lower value for Banco BCI, an Angolan bank, its book value plunged in 2016 amid a tough year for the oil producing country.
The other woman is Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija, whose estimated $1.6 billion fortune lies in oil exploration firm Famfa Oil, which is partnered with Chevron and Petrobras on a lucrative offshore oil field.
Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania is the youngest on the list. He inherited a textile and edible oils group from his father and has expanded its operations. Forbes puts his net worth at $1.5 billion.
The oldest list member is Onsi Sawiris of Egypt, age 88; he started Orascom Construction in 1950. It was nationalized by the government of Abdel Nasser and Sawiris created another construction firm from scratch.
This information was originally published by Forbes Africa.
Copyright Forbes Africa 2018.
Published under permission by Forbes Africa.
Source: Forbes Africa