I am extremely passionate about wealth and wealth creation so I spend hours doing research on wealthy business people, specifically Africans. They inspire me and I appreciate their ability to build successful business empires that help grow communities by providing employment, training etc. A lot of people make millions (It’s not that hard to make a million) but only a few can increase those millions and use them to create sustainable businesses with proper business structures. My list only consists of Africans and is in no particular order.
- Mohammed Dewji – Tanzanian
CEO of METL, a conglomerate worth more than $1 Billion that deals with, amongst other things, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure and financial services. He is the founder of the Mo Dewji Foundation, which provides scholarships to under-previlidged Tanzanian children. Why do I look up to him?, at 42, he is Africa’s youngest Billionaire with a net worth of $1.4 Billion.
2. Aliko Dangote – Nigerian
Founder of Dangote cement, net worth of $13.1 Billion, he is the richest man in Africa. His empire (Dangote Group) is the largest conglomerate in West Africa with 26 000 employees. I have great respect for him and would be more than satisfied if I achieved a quarter of what he has achieved.
3. Patrice Motsepe – South African
South Africa’s richest black man and according to forbes.com, Africa’s first black billionaire. He is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals, president and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, a mining magnate and the first african to sign Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s giving pledge. He will soon be venturing into the banking sector with a 10% acquisition of Tyme, a lender that allows clients to access funds using their phones. Tyme is a Johannesburg based Fintech company that was bought by the Commonwealth bank of Australia in 2015, it was granted a provisional banking license by the South African Reserve Bank in 2016. Patrice Motsepe’s current net worth is an estimated $1.75 Billion.
4. Femi Otedole – Nigerian
It makes me sad that Femi Otedole did not make the Forbes list this year. The controlling shareholder of fort oil has been through his fair share of business ups and downs. The Fort oil stock price took a plunge last year decreasing his net worth to $550 million (2016) from $1.8 billion. I think this might be due to the recession Nigeria faced last year and the decrease in oil prices but it seems this is the second time his wealth plunges. In a Forbes Africa article republished by Peace Hyde in CNBC Africa, he was quoted as saying, “I had two options, either to commit suicide or to weather the storm. I decided to weather the storm. I just knew it was a phase I had to go through. You see God prepares you for greater things and of course experience is the best teacher so I had to learn my lessons. I took the bitter pill.” However, the article states that he bounced back in 2014 meaning he took another blow just two years later. What we can learn from this is that it’s always good to diversify your businesses and investments. Nevertheless I admire his perseverance.
Side note: I also enjoyed his Daughter’s show “Cuppy takes Africa”.
5. Khanyi Dhlomo – South African
CEO of Ndalo Media and Ndalo Luxury Ventures. I first knew about her when I started reading Destiny magazine back in 2010, I liked how business minded she is. In 2011 she was on the Forbes list of 20 young power women in Africa (Alongside Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, my favourite writer, I absolutely loved her Ted ex talk titled “We should all be feminist”). Unfortunately Khanyi Dhlomo is the only woman on my list and she is not yet a billionaire. There are only two female billionaires in Africa, Isabel Dos Santos and Folorunsho Alakija.
As the richest woman in Africa (Net worth of $3.5 Billion), Isabel Dos Santos would have been on my list however her success has always been a subject of controversy, It was how I came to know of her. Forbes research found that her father, Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, transfered stakes in several Angolan countries to her. She has denied these allegations and I cannot be sure wether or not they are true.
Net worth Data taken from Forbes.com