Although Africa is regarded as the poorest continent in the world, we can’t but identify numerous business magnates and self-made richest billionaires who rose against all odds and imprinted their footsteps on the sands of time.
The list of African richest people below and how they have amassed great wealth in a continent regarded as the poorest in the world arrests the misconception that all Africans are subjected to poverty.
Some of the richest people in Africa are self-made, some of them have built on their influence and power to gather their wealth, and some of these billionaires have leveraged inheritances to become one of the richest people in Africa.
One of the richest people in the world, and also the richest black man in the world, Aliko Dangote Of Northern Nigeria is also a world-class Businessman and a public figure that indicates Africa is blessed.
Listed below are the top 20 richest people in Africa (Africa Richest), their pictures, Age and Net Worth according to the data “My Woven Words” could gather.
1. ALIKO DANGOTE – NIGERIA 🇳🇬
NET WORTH: $10.1 BILLION
Dangote is the richest person in Africa and the only African on the list of the top 100 richest in the world. His primary businesses include cement, sugar and flour.
His company Dangote Group is currently on an expansion drive to many other African countries. Dangote refineries are expected to come online very soon.
Dangote, Africa’s richest man, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. He owns about 90% of publicly traded Dangote Cement through a holding company.
Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tons annually. Dangote also owns stakes in publicly traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
Aliko Dangote, an ethnic Hausa Muslimrom Kano State, was born on 10 April 1957 into a wealthy Muslim family. He is the great-grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest African at the time of his death in 1955. Alhaji Alhassan Dantata was a successful trader of rice and oats.
Dangote has said, “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets [candy] and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
Dangote was educated at the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa, followed by Capital High School, Kano. He has a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
2. NASSEF SAWIRIS – EGYPT 🇪🇬
NET WORTH: $8 BILLION
Nassef Sawiris is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Naguib is also wealthy.
Sawiris split Orascom Construction Industries into two entities in 2015: OCI and Orascom Construction.
He runs OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa; it trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. Orascom Construction, an engineering and building firm, trades on the Cairo exchange and Nasdaq Dubai.
His holdings include stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas; he sits on the supervisory board of Adidas. A University of Chicago graduate, he donated $24.1 million to the school in 2019 to aid Egyptian students and fund an executive education program.
Nassef Sawiris, one of Africa’s richest teamed up with Fortress Investment Group’s Wes Edens to purchase a majority stake in Aston Villa Football Club.
3. MIKE ADENUGA – NIGERIA 🇳🇬
NET WORTH: $7.7 BILLION
This Nigerian billionaire is an investor in the telecommunications and oil production industries.
He is the founder of Globacom Limited, which is the second-largest phone network in Nigeria.
Dr Mike Adenuga, one of Africa’s richest is the chairperson of ConOil PLC, a lucrative oil exploration company in Nigeria.
3. NICKY OPPENHEIMER – SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦
NET WORTH: $7.7 BILLION
Based in South Africa, Nicky Oppenheimer made the bulk of his fortune from the diamond trade.
He owns shares in several corporate companies such as Anglo-American. Nicky Oppenheimer is one of the wealthiest people in Africa.
The DeBeers diamond heir sold his 40% stake in DeBeers to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012. Anglo-American, which Nicky’s grandfather founded, controls 85% of De Beers.
He served on Anglo American’s board for 37 years until 2011 and retains an estimated 1% stake in the company.
5. JOHANN RUPERT – SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦
NET WORTH: $6.5BILLION
Rupert is chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont. The company is best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc.
It was formed in 1998 through a spinoff of assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), which his father Anton formed in the 1940s.
He owns a 7% stake in diversified investment firm Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, an investment holding co. based in Luxembourg.
In recent years, Rupert has been a vocal opponent of plans to allow fracking in the Karoo, a region of South Africa where he owns land.
He also owns part of the Saracens English rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his deceased brother.
When the British design magazine Wallpaper* described the Afrikaans language as “one of the ugliest languages in the world” in its September 2005 edition (in reference to the Afrikaans Language Monument), Rupert responded by withdrawing advertising for his companies’ brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine.
Rupert, one of Africa’s richest says his biggest regret was not buying half of Gucci when he had the opportunity to do so for just $175 million.
6. ISAAD REBRAB – ALGERIA 🇩🇿
NET WORTH: $4.4 BILLION
This Algerian businessman gained well through his investments in the food industry.
He is the founder of the largest private conglomerate in Algeria – Cevital. This organization owns the biggest sugar refineries in the world with the capacity to produce 2 million tons a year.
It is also involved in the production of vegetable oil and margarine. Cevital owns European companies, including French home appliances maker Groupe Brandt, an Italian steel mill and a German water purification company.
After serving eight months in jail on charges of corruption, Rebrab was released on January 1, 2020. He denies any wrongdoing.
Rebrab is the son of militants who fought for Algeria’s independence from France.
Cevital helped finance a biopic on Algerian resistance hero Larbi Ben M’hidi, who was executed by the French in 1957.
7. MOHAMED MANSOUR – EGYPT 🇪🇬
NET WORTH: $3.3 BILLION
Mansour oversees the family conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (D.1976) in 1952 and has 60,000 employees.
Mansour established General Motors dealerships in Egypt in 1975, later becoming one of GM’s biggest distributors worldwide. Mansour Group also has exclusive distribution rights for Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and seven other African countries.
He served as Egypt’s Minister of Transportation from 2006 to 2009 under the Hosni Mubarak regime. Mohamed Mansour is a billionaire and businessman with diverse investments across different industries in Egypt.
He oversees and manages the growth and functioning of Mansour Group and General Motors simultaneously.
He has stakes in the telecom education industry and real estate industry in different overseas countries. His brothers Yasseen and Youssef, who share ownership in the family group, are also wealthy; his son Loutfy heads the private equity arm Man Capital.
8. ABDULSAMAD RABIU – NIGERIA 🇳🇬
NET WORTH: $3.1 BILLION
His company BUA Group specializes in commodities such as flour and sugar. It is also a large-scale distributor of cement in Nigeria. Furthermore, the organization manages ports and terminals within the industry as well.
In early January 2020, Rabiu, one of the African richest men merged his privately-owned Obu Cement company with the listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange; Rabiu owns 98.5% of it.
Rabiu, the son of a businessman, inherited land from his father. He set up his own business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals.
9. NAGUIB SAWIRIS – EGYPT 🇪🇬
NET WORTH: $3 BILLION
Naguib Sawiris, one of Africa’s richest men is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Nassef Sawiris is also wealthy.
He built a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction.
He’s chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which has stakes in a major asset manager in Egypt and an Italian internet company, among others. Family-holding La Mancha has stakes in Evolution Mining, Endeavour Mining and Golden Star Resources, which operate gold mines in Africa and Australia.
Naguib Sawiris is a majority owner in Euronews. He’s also developed a luxury resort called Silversands in Grenada.
Naguib Sawiris helped found The Free Egyptians, a liberal political party, at the onset of Egypt’s uprisings in 2011.
In 2015, he offered to buy a Greek or Italian island to house Syrian refugees, but Greece and Italy turned him down.
10. PATRICE MOTSEPE – SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦
NET WORTH: $2.6 BILLION
Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became a billionaire in 2008 – the first black African on the Forbes list.
In 2016, he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa. Motsepe, one of Africa’s richest men also has a stake in Sanlam, a listed financial services firm, and is the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
He became the first black partner at the law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg and then started a contracting business doing mine scut work.
In 1994, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and later turned them profitable.
11. KOOS BEKKER – SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦
NET WORTH: $2.5 BILLION
Bekker, one of Africa’s richest men is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an ecommerce investor and cable TV powerhouse.
He led Naspers to invest in Chinese Internet and media firm Tencent in 2001 – by far the most profitable of the bets he made on companies elsewhere.
In 2019, Naspers put some assets into two publicly traded companies, entertainment firm MultiChoice Group and Prosus, which contains the Tencent stake.
It sold a 2% stake in Tencent in March 2018, its first time reducing its holding, but stated at the time it would not sell again for three years. Bekker, who retired as the CEO of Naspers in March 2014, returned as chairman in April 2015.
His Babylonstoren estate, nearly 600 acres in South Africa’s Western Cape region, features architecture dating back to 1690, a farm, orchard vineyard and more.
Over the summer of 2015, he sold more than 70% of his Naspers shares.
12. YASSEEN MANSOUR – EGYPT 🇪🇬
NET WORTH: $2.3 BILLION
The company also has diversified interests in other industries. For instance, it is the distributor of L’Oreal in Egypt.
Yassen, one of the African richest men also is the founder of a big-time real estate development company – Palm Hills Development. Mansour Group is the sole franchisee of McDonald’s in Egypt, as well as the distributor of Gauloises cigarettes.
13. ISABEL DOS SANTOS – ANGOLA 🇦🇴
NET WORTH: $2.2 BILLION
Dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angola’s longtime former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in fall 2017.
Isabel Dos Santos, the richest woman in Africa has made significant investments in Angola’s telecommunication company Unitel as well as in the Banco BIC bank.
Her father made her head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, in June 2016, but Angola’s new president removed her from that role in November 2017.
While Isabel’s father was president, she ended up with stakes in Angolan companies including banks and a telecom firm. She owns shares in Portuguese companies, including telecom and cable TV firm Nos SGPS.
She is an independent businesswoman and a private investor representing solely her own interests. In December 2019, an Angolan court issued an order freezing her stakes in Angolan companies, part of a suit about funds she owes to the state oil firm.
Isabel dos Santos is nicknamed “the princess” in Angola.
Santos’ mother, Tatiana Kukanova, met her father while he was a student in Azerbaijan. The couple later divorced.
14. YOUSSEF MANSOUR – EGYPT 🇪🇬
NET WORTH: $1.9 BILLION
Youssef Mansour, one of the African richest men is chairman of the family-owned conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d.1976) in 1952.
Compared to his Egyptian wealthy Mansour brothers, Youseff maintains a very low profile. Apart from being a major stakeholder of Mansour Group, he is also interested in the field of consumer goods. Mansour Group is the exclusive distributor of GM vehicles and Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and several other countries.
He oversees the consumer goods division, which includes supermarket chain Metro, and sole distribution rights for L’Oreal in Egypt.
Younger brothers Mohamed and Yasseen are also wealthy and part owners of Mansour Group.
Former Egypt President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized his father’s original cotton trading business.
Mansour is a founding member of the American-Egyptian Chamber of Commerce.
15. AZIZ AKHANNOUCH – MOROCCO 🇲🇦
NET WORTH: $1.7BILLION
Aziz Akhannouch is the majority owner of Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar conglomerate founded by his father and a partner, Ahmed Wakrim, in 1932.
It has interests in petroleum, gas and chemicals through publicly traded Afriquia Gaz and Maghreb Oxygene.
Akhannouch, one of African richest men is Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and the president of a royalist political party.
His wife Salwa Idrissi runs her own company, which has franchises for Gap, Gucci and Ralph Lauren in Morocco.
16. MOHAMMED DEWJI – TANZANIA 🇹🇿
NET WORTH: $1.6 BILLION
Mohammed Dewji, one of Africa’s richest men is the CEO of MeTL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.
MeTL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa.
MeTL operates in at least six African countries and has ambitions to expand to several more. Dewji, Tanzania’s only billionaire, signed the Giving Pledge in 2016, promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
Dewji was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in October 2018 and released after nine days.
Dewji retired from Tanzania’s parliament in early 2015 after completing two terms.
Dewji, who is known as Mo (short for Mohammed), launched Mo-Cola several years ago to compete with Coca-Cola.
17. OTHMAN BENJELLOUN – MOROCCO 🇲🇦
NET WORTH: $1.4 BILLION
Benjelloun, one of African richest men is CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa, which has a presence in more than 20 African countries.
His father was a shareholder in RMA Watanya, a Moroccan insurance company; Benjelloun built it into a leading insurer.
Through his holding company FinanceCom, he has a stake in the Moroccan arm of French telecom firm Orange.
He inaugurated in 2014 a $500 million plan to build the 55-story Mohammed VI Tower in Rabat. It will be one of the tallest buildings in Africa.
FinanceCom is part of a project to develop a multibillion-dollar tech city in Tangiers that is expected to host 200 Chinese companies.
He co-owns Ranch Adarouch, one of the biggest cattle breeders in Africa.
Benjelloun and his wife received the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award for building schools in rural Morocco in 2016.
18. MICHIEL LE ROUX – SOUTH AFRICA 🇿🇦
NET WORTH: $1.3 BILLION
Le Roux of South Africa founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns about an 11% stake. The bank, which trades on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, targets South Africa’s emerging middle class.
He served as chairman of the board of Capitec from 2007 to 2016 and has continued on as a board member. Le Roux, one of African richest men previously ran Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town’s hinterland.
The bank has more than 800 branches and over 13,000 employees.
Fellow South African Jannie Mouton’s PSG Group owns a 30% stake in Capitec Bank.
19. STRIVE MASIYIWA – ZIMBABWE 🇿🇼
NET WORTH: $1.1 BILLION
This gentleman is the richest man in Zimbabwe.
Masiyiwa, one of the African richest men overcame protracted government opposition to launch the mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998.
He owns just over 50% of the publicly traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group.
Masiyiwa also owns just over half of the private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fibre optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa.
His other assets include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa.
He and his wife Tsitsi founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho.
After studying at university in Britain, Masiyiwa worked at ZPTC, Zimbabwe’s phone company.
He left ZPTC to start an engineering services firm, then sold it and founded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, but had to battle the government in court for years.
Masiyiwa also contributes a lot towards the betterment of education.
20. FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA – NIGERIA 🇳🇬
NET WORTH: $1 BILLION
The richest self-made female billionaire in Africa.
Folorunso Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset.
Famfa Oil’s partners include Chevron and Petrobras. Alakija’s first company was a fashion label whose customers included the wife of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida.
The Nigerian government awarded Alakija’s company an oil prospecting license in 1993, which was later converted to an oil mining lease.
The Agbami field has been operating since 2008; Famfa Oil says it will likely operate through 2024.
She is one of the richest women in the world.
Along with Aliko Dangote, three other Nigerian billionaires who made the list were oil and telecoms mogul Mike Adenuga whose fortune is currently estimated at $7.7 billion, Abdulsamad Rabiu ($3.1 billion) and Folorunsho Alakija, with an estimated at $1 billion.
With a net worth of $10.1 billion, Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is the wealthiest man in Africa and the only African on the list of the top 100 richest in the world.
Isabel dos Santos, an Angolan businesswoman, the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos (who served as President of Angola from 1979 to 2017), is the richest woman in Africa.
South Africa is home to 5 billionaires in Africa, with Egypt also claiming 5 billionaires; followed by Nigeria (4 billionaires); Morocco (2 billionaires); and Algeria, Angola, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe – 1 billionaire each.
Only 2 woman features on the list of the 20 African Richest — Angola’s richest person, Isabel Dos Santos and Folorunsho Alakija from Nigeria.
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