For the ninth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria has been declared as the wealthiest person in Africa, with an estimated net worth of $10.1 billion.
In the latest ranking of the world’s billionaires by Forbes, the American global media company, focusing on business, investment, technology, entrepreneurship and leadership, Dangote’s present worth is down from his estimate of $10.3 billion, a year ago; attributed to possibly a slightly lower stock price for his Dangote Cement flagship company.
Africa has 54 nations, but only eight countries have billionaires according to Forbes, with South Africa and Egypt dominating not only the top 10 richest people in Africa list, but in the rankings overall with five billionaires each.
Nigeria comes second with four billionaires, including Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
Nassef Sawiris of Egypt is the new number two richest, worth $8 billion, up from $6.3 billion last year. Number three on the list is Nigeria’s Mike Adenuga, worth $7.7 billion. He owns mobile phone network, GloMobile as well as oil producer Conoil and extensive real estate holdings.
His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the third largest operator in Nigeria, with 43 million subscribers while his oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest man, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. He owns nearly 85 per cent of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company.
Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tonnes annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa. Dangote also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
Dangote Refinery has been under construction for three years and is expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries once complete.
Explaining the methodology used in the ranking, Forbes Africa, “Our list tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary businesses there, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen, and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen.
“We calculated net worth using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 10, 2020. To value privately held businesses, we couple estimates of revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies. Some list members grow richer or poorer within weeks or days of our measurement date.”
Sharing the third position with Mike Adenuga with $7.7billion worth is a South African, Nicky Oppenheimer. Heir to his family’s fortune, Oppenheimer sold his 40 per cent stake in diamond firm DeBeers to mining group Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012.
Johann Rupert is the fifth richest African, while Nigeria’s Abdulsamad Rabiu is in number eight position among the top 20 African billionaires. Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate.
In early January 2020, Rabiu merged his privately-owned Obu Cement company with listed firm Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange; Rabiu owns 98.5 per cent of it.
Forbes Africa journalist Peace Hyde in an interview with Aliko Dangote in Nigeria, three years ago for the popular Forbes Africa show, ‘My Worst Day with Peace Hyde’, airing on CNBC Africa, said, “Dangote is someone who is extremely focused and driven with a bullish passion for Africa. For him, the goal is to dream as big and as grandiose as you can when it comes to the future of Africa because he believes, we have the human capital and resources to transform our continent. Everything is possible in his mind. His approach to business is testament to this fact.”
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