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Richest African Billionaires Secret of Success in Business

According to Forbes richest African Billionaires 2016 list released, the Egyptians dominated the list with a combined net worth of $15.71 billion which is just $1.31 billion above the net worth of Aliko Dangote. The Nigerian African richest man continues to soar high according to, though his net worth took a $1.3 billion compared to the end of 2015. All the richest African billionaires worth $80.96 billion, which is a drop of $13.04 billion from $94 billion in 2015.

From the 54 African countries, only eight are represented in the list and only two are women. South Africans are the wealthiest group with the combined net worth of $22.21 billion. According to the 2017 Forbes list of richest African billionaires list, the number of billionaires on the African continent continues to drop. Only 21 billionaires are on the richest African billionaires list compared to 23 featured last year.

The combined wealth of the former is $70 billion down from 79.8 billion in the previous year. 7 African countries;
South Africa
Egypt, Nigeria
Morocco, Algeria
Dominated the richest African billionaires list. South Africa topped the list with six billionaires, same as Egypt. South Africa’s super-rich individuals have a combined net worth of $22.7 billion, which is $7 billion more than Egypt’s six billionaires.

Out of the total 21 richest African billionaires are, only 2 women are listed in the list, Folorunsho Alakija from Nigeria and Isabel Dos Santos from Angola are Africa’s richest women with a fortune worth $3.2 billion fortune. Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of Angola’s president and recently appointed as the head of country’s state oil firm Sonangol in June 2016.

Aliko Dangote and Top Richest African Billionaires List

Aliko Dangote

Richest African Billionaires

This man comes from a family with a strong business background; his great-uncle, Alhaji Alhassan Dantata was dubbed the richest African at the time of his death in 1955. Aliko Dangote founded Dangote Group in 1981 and thereafter transformed it into a conglomerate composed of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Flour and Dangote Cement.

The Dangote Cement is the biggest cement producers in Africa with a capacity of over 20 million metric tones per annum while Dangote Sugar Refinery boosts being the largest Sugar producers in Africa and third in the world, producing an estimated 800 thousand tons of sugar annually.

Aliko Dangote has expanded his reach beyond Nigeria, to West Africa and across sub-Sahara with a major presence in Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo. Forbes estimates his current worth to be $16.4 billion. He has been Africa’s richest person since 2013 when he surpassed Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi.

Michael Adenuga

Richest African Billionaires

This man is dubbed the second on the richest African billionaire list. Born in 1953, he grew up in Lagos Nigeria and worked as a taxi driver to help fund his MBA at Pace University in New York. Adenuga started by making his fortune in trading lace and Coca-Cola. In 1991, Mike then founded Conoil (formerly Consolidated Oil Company), the company operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta. Conoil has three major operating sectors, White products (Industrial and Aviation Fuel),

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Lubricants and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), it mainly engages in the manufacture and marketing of various petroleum products. Michael Adenuga also owns Globacom, the second-largest telecommunications company in Nigeria; it also has operations in Ghana and the Republic of Benin. Globacom has an estimated 32 million subscribers in Nigeria. The second richest Nigerian has an estimated net worth of $10.3 billion.

Lubricants and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), it mainly engages in the manufacture and marketing of various petroleum products. Michael Adenuga also owns Globacom, the second-largest telecommunications company in Nigeria; it also has operations in Ghana and the Republic of Benin. Globacom has an estimated 32 million subscribers in Nigeria. The second richest Nigerian has an estimated net worth of $10.3 billion.

Nicholas “Nicky” Oppenheimer

Nicholas “Nicky” Oppenheimer

He is the third richest African billionaire and the richest person from South Africa. Nicky Oppenheimer grandfather Ernest Oppenheimer who founded the Anglo-American, a multinational mining company and the current world’s largest producer of platinum. He joined Anglo-American as the Personal Assistant to the Chairman in 1968 and quickly moved up the ranks to deputy Chairman in 1983.

The major source of Nicky Oppenheimer wealth is his inheritance of De Beers, one of the leaders in the diamond industry and Tswalu Kalahari Reserve the largest private game reserve in South Africa. He succeeded his forefathers as the Chairman of De Beers in 1998 in what is sometimes referred to as the Oppenheimer dynasty thus inheriting the family business. Nicky stepped down in 2012 and liquidated 40% of his DeBeers shares to the familiar face of Anglo-American for $5.1 billion in cash. The 57-year-old has an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion.

Christoffel Wiese

third richest African billionaire

The fourth richest African billionaire grew up in Upington, Northern Cape in South Africa. A lawyer by profession, Christoffer left the Cape bar to join a family business as a Director of Pepkor, which originated as the discount clothing retail chain Pep Stores.

Christoffel company, Pepkor group currently operates more than 4000 retails with major operations in South Africa, Australia and Poland. He took a brief break from Pepkor to venture into diamond mining and politics. In 1980, he returned to Pepkor as Chairman, Pepkor has recently acquired Shoprite Holdings, which he turned into the largest food retailer in Africa.

Shoprite operates 1825 corporates and 363 franchise outlets in 15 countries across Africa employing over 136 000 people. In February 2015, Steinhoff purchased Pepkor for $5.7 billion in cash and stock a deal that resulted in Christoffel owning 17% of Steinhoff. This South African has an estimated net worth of $7.3 billion.

Johann Rupert

third richest African billionaire

Fifth richest African billionaire was born in 1950, grew up in Stellenbosch South Africa. He is the eldest son of Anton Rupert who founded Voorbrand, a tobacco company that was later renamed, Rembrandt. The Rembrandt group founded Richemont a holdings Swiss company for leading luxury goods companies and Remgro an investment company with particular interests in food, liquor and home care, financial, and industrial companies.

He currently chairs both companies. Rupert has a strong interest in sports, a former cricketer himself, he developed Leopard Creek Golf Club in Mpumalanga South Africa which is constantly ranked in the top three of best golf courses in South Africa and he owns part of Saracens a first division English rugby team. The South African has an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion with luxury goods as his main source of wealth.

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Nassef Sawiris

third richest African billionaire

The sixth richest African billionaire is the son of Onsi Sawiris a businessman who founded Orascom a conglomerate with primary focus on infrastructure, industrial and high-end commercial projects and the richest person from Egypt. He joined his father’s venture in 1982, in 2015 Orascom split into Orascom construction that Nassef serves as its non-executive Chairman and Orascom Construction Industries where he serves as a Chief Executive Officer.

Sawiris emerged as the largest individual shareholder of Adidas in October; he holds 6% of Adidas shares, which is approximated to worth about $1 billion. Sawiris recently founded Nile Holdings Investment, a private equity fund that invests in different industries with a major focus in Egypt’s healthcare sector. The 55 years old graduate of the University of Chicago has an estimated net worth of $4.4 billion.

Nathan Kirsh

third richest African billionaire

This man was born in Potchefstroom, South Africa., later became a permanent citizen of Swaziland in 1986. Nathan Kirsh made his first mark into the business arena when he founded Swaziland Mills, a Swaziland corn-milling company, later expanded the reach of this milling company to become a dominant food retailer in South Africa. The company overextended its reach by committing to building two-dozen malls; unfortunately,

South Africa was at the edge of extending increasing its international sanctions, a result of which cost Kirsh most of his fortune. Currently, Kirsh’s fortune comes from Jetro Holdings, Inc, which operates Jetro Cash and Carry, one of the leading wholesale cash and carry stores in USA and Restaurant Depots in New York City. The Kirsh Holdings Group owns 50% of Swazi Plaza Properties, which is made up his biggest investment in Swaziland. Kirsh has an estimated $4 billion net worth.

Isabel dos Santos

third richest African billionaire

The eight richest African billionaires is the eldest daughter of a long time Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the richest woman in Africa. Isabel started her venture into the business world as a project manager for Urbana 2000 a subsidiary of Jembas that was contracted for cleaning and disinfecting of Luanda.

Isabel later set up a truck business company, this coupled with the establishment of the walkie-talkie system paved way for her to move into the telecommunications industry. But later in 1997, Isabel started Miami Beach Club, her first business and one of the first nightclubs beach restaurants in Luanda Island.

The Electrical Engineering graduate of King’s College owns a number of assets in Angola, including 25% of Unitel, the largest mobile phone company in Angola. Among her diverse investment portfolio is 19% of Banco BPI, Angola’s largest bank and 7% of Galp Energia, an oil and gas company. The 42-year-old Angolan has an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion.

Issad Rebrab

third richest African billionaire

This is ninth in the list of the richest African billionaires and the richest man in Algeria. His industrial career apparently started in 1971, when one of his clients suggested he take shares in a metallurgical construction company. Issad, a teacher by profession said he took a calculated risk, and in the worst case, he knew he could always return to teaching. Issad joined the industry by acquiring 20% shares of Sotecom, a metallurgical construction business

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Issad Rebrab stands out as one of the few richest African billionaires who come from modest families, his parents were revolutionaries who struggled for the independence of Algeria. His major installations were destroyed in 1995 by a terrorist attack, costing him an estimated $1.1 billion. Issad came back stronger in 1998 with the foundation of Cevital, one of the largest Algerian private enterprise, with subsidies in agribusiness, distribution, glass industry and real estate. Issad has an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion.

Naguib Sawiris

Naguib Sawiris

The tenth richest on the richest African billionaires list is the eldest of three Onsi Sawiris’ sons. he is a Masters graduate of ETH Zurich particularly helped establish the railway, information technology and telecommunications, the success of these sectors led to the split of Orascom into Orascom Telecom Holding, Orascom Construction Industries, Orascom Hotels & Development and Orascom Technology Systems. He joined the family business Orascom in 1979. He played an integral role in the growth and diverse portfolio of the company turning it into one of the largest private-sector firms.

He owns the liberal Egypt TV station ONTV. Perhaps he is most recently known for his desire to buy an Island between to give 100 000 to 200 000 refugees a home, this was after he saw a picture of a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned trying to find refuge. The Egyptian has an estimated net worth of $3 billion.

Folorunsho Alakija

olorunsho Alakija

She is the richest African women and one of the richest black women in the world. She started off with a fashion label company that dressed Nigeria’s elite women, including the wife of the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, who later awarded Alakija’s company an oil prospecting license.

Folorunsho Alakija is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.[5] Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion.

Culled from The African Exponent | Africa’s Billionaires List, 2017

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