This year, a record 1,226 billionaires made it to FORBES’ annual ranking of the World’s richest people.
African billionaires occupied a little over 1% of the positions on the list. Here are the 16 Africans who made the cut:
Aliko Dangote, $11.2 billion – Nigeria, Sugar, Cement, Flour
Africa’s cement king has shed more than $2.6 billion from his net worth since last year as a consequence of Nigeria’s floundering stock market. But don’t feel sorry: Dangote still remains the richest man on the continent. He famously started trading commodities three decades ago with a business loan from an uncle, then went on to build the $15 billion (combined market capitalization)Dangote Group which now has interests in everything from sugar refineries, flour milling, salt processing and cement plants in Nigeria, Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa.
Nicky Oppenheimer & family, $6.8 billion – South Africa, Diamonds
Last November, Oppenheimer agreed to a historic sale of his family’s 40% stake in De Beers, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds to Anglo American in a $5.1 billion deal. Oppenheimer has vowed to invest a substantial part of the money in Africa. So far, he has invested heavily in Tana Africa Capital, a $300 million private equity joint venture with Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings. The fund will invest primarily in the agricultural and consumer goods sectors across Africa. Passionate cricketer.
Nassef Sawiris, $5.1 billion – Egypt, Construction
Nassef Sawiris, the youngest son of Orascom conglomerate founder and fellow billionaire, Onsi Sawiris, heads Orascom Construction Industries, one of Egypt’s largest publicly-traded companies. Sawiris also owns substantial stakes in cement companies Lafarge and Texas Industries.
Johann Rupert & family, $5.1 billion – South Africa, Luxury Goods
Luxury goods billionaire Rupert serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Richemont, a Swiss holding company that controls premium brands such as Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc and Chloé. Also chairs South African investment holding companies, Remgro Ltd and Reinet Investments Manager. The automobile enthusiast established the Franschhoek Motor Museum which houses his personal collection of over 200 antique vehicles.
Mike Adenuga, $4.3 billion – Nigeria, telecom, banking, oil
Reclusive tycoon was the first Nigerian to strike oil in commercial quantities through his firm, Conoil Producing. Today, the company is Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil exploration company producing some 100,000 barrels per day. Also owns Globacom, Nigeria’s second largest mobile telecom operator which boasts over 15 million active subscribers.
Naguib Sawiris, $3.1 billion – Egypt, Telecom
The eldest son of Onsi Sawiris, Naguib built up Orascom Telecom to become the dominant mobile telecoms operator in the Maghreb region. In 2010, he sold off his family’s stake in the company to Russia’s VimpelCom for $6.5 billion. He subsequently made his foray into politics, founding the Free Egyptians party in April 2011 to promote free markets and a secular platform.
Christoffel Wiese, $3.1 billion – South Africa, Retailing
Wiese is the chairman and largest individual shareholder of low-price supermarket chain Shoprite, Africa’s largest retailer. He also owns a 44% stake in discount clothes, shoes and textiles chain Pepkor as well a significant shareholding in private equity firm Brait. His other assets include Lanzerac Manor & Winery, a five-star hotel that produces its own wine, and a private game reserve in the Kalahari.
Onsi Sawiris, $2.9 billion – Egypt, construction, telecom
The legendary patriarch of Egypt’s most powerful business dynasty. The Orascom Group, which he founded, has interests in telecoms, hotels and construction. The companies are all run by his three sons- Naguib, Samih and Nassef.
Miloud Chaabi, $2.9 billion – Morocco, Real estate
As a child, the Moroccan businessman and politician worked as a farmer and goat herdsman. By the time he was 19, he had saved enough to start a small construction company which developed residential properties. Through his Ynna Holding Company, he subsequently expanded his empire into hotels, supermarkets, and renewable energy. Chaabi is one of Morocco’s most vocal critics of political and business corruption.
Patrice Motsepe, $2.7 billion –
Patrice Motsepe, $2.7 billion – South Africa, Mining
Born in the sprawling black township of Soweto and then trained as a lawyer, he became the first black partner at Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg. Went on to found a small contracting business doing mine scut work, then bought low-producing gold shaft mines in 1994 which he turned profitable using lean management style. Today, his $5 billion (market cap) African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) has interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper and gold. Motsepe owns over 41% of the company. Also owns a 5% stake in Sanlam, a financial services firm outside Cape Town.
Othman Benjelloun, $2.3 billion – Morocco, banking, insurance
His father was a major shareholder in a small Moroccan insurance company. He took over in 1988 and built it into RMA Watanya, one of Morocco’s largest insurance companies. He used RMA Watanya as a springboard to diversify into banking. Today, his $4 billion (market capitalization) BMCE Bank has operations in more than a dozen countries. Through his holding company Groupe FinanceCom, he also has significant interests in telecom, airlines and Information technology.
Mohamed Mansour, $1.7 billion – Egypt, Diversified
Along with his two brothers, Mohammed Mansour runs the world’s largest GM dealership. Among other assets, the Mansour Group also owns the largest supermarket chain in Egypt, the country’s second largest real estate developer, Palm Hills and the Philip Morris franchise in Egypt.
Anas Sefrioui, $1.6 billion – Morocco, Real estate
In 1998, the then 31 year-old Anas Sefrioui founded a small real estate development company which bought out small, dilapidated residential structures, renovated then flipped for profit. But he hit it big nearly a decade later when Morocco’s late King Hassan II awarded him an extremely lucrative contract to build 20,000 units of government subsidized houses for the masses. In 2005, he won another $1 billion state contract to build more housing units. His real estate company, Douja Promotion Groupe Addoha went public in 2006. He owns over 60% of the company’s preferred stock.
Yasseen Mansour, $1.6 billion – Egypt, Diversified
The youngest of Egypt’s three Mansour brothers, Yasseen is the chairman of Palm Hills, Egypt’s seconf-largest real estate developer, but the bulk of his fortune is tied up in the family business, the largest seller of GM vehicles in the world.
Youssef Mansour, $1.5 billion – Egypt, Diversified
The eldest of the Mansour brothers owns stakes in real estate developer Palm Hills, Egypt’s largest supermarket chain, Metro and Mansour Group which is the largest seller of GM vehicles on earth. Reclusive philanthropist now devotes his time and energies towards the family foundation which focuses on illiteracy and education.
Mohamed Al Fayed, $1.3 billion – Egypt, retailing
In 2010, Al-Fayed sold his popular Harrod’s department store in London toQatar Holding. Reported selling price: $2.4 billion. He believes the future lies in online retail. Last July, he acquired U.K.-based discount fashion website Cocosa. Other assets include the Hotel Ritz in Paris, the Fulham football club, and a castle in Scotland./ Forbes