CAIRO - 26 January 2022: The total wealth of the African continent's 18 billionaires is estimated at $84.9 billion, marking an increase of 15 percent over the past 12 months.
According to the Forbes Middle East report, that increase is the largest since 2014, when more billionaires - 28 - had a combined fortune of $96.5 billion.
On average, the wealth of each of the richest people on the continent is $4.7 billion, compared to $3.4 billion in 2014.
Forbes reported that rising stock prices from Nigeria to Zimbabwe had raised the fortunes of these billionaires, with demand for products from cement to luxury goods rising.
For the eleventh year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the richest person on the continent, with an estimated fortune of $13.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion last year after a 30% increase in the share price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.
Analysts found that a surge in housing projects in Nigeria and growth in government spending on infrastructure drove up demand in the first nine months of 2021.
Luxury goods tycoon
Luxury goods magnate Johann Robert, from South Africa has jumped from fourth place last year to second. A 60% rise in the share price of Compagnie Financiere Richemont - which makes Cartier watches and Montblanc pens - took his fortune to $11 billion, from $7.2 billion a year earlier, making him the biggest gainer on the list.
South African Nikki Oppenheimer, who previously ran diamond mining company DeBeers before it was sold to Anglo American miner a decade ago, ranks third, with an estimated fortune of $8.7 billion.
Forbes' list of the richest people in Africa for 2022 included Arab billionaires from Egypt, Morocco and Algeria, and the list monitors the wealth of African billionaires residing in the black continent or their main businesses are located there, so the Egyptian billionaire residing in London, Mohamed Al-Fayed, was excluded.
The investor and descendant of the richest family in Egypt, Nassef Sawiris, ranks fourth on the list, with a net worth estimated at $8.6 billion as of January 23, 2022.
His fortune on the Forbes momentary list of world billionaires is about $8.2 billion on January 25, 2022. His billionaire brother Naguib Sawiris is ranked eighth, with a net worth of $3.4 billion.
The Egyptian billionaire, Mohamed Mansour, who oversees the Mansour family group, is 12th on the list, which also includes his brothers Yassin and Youssef, who share ownership of the family group, ranked 18th and 15th respectively.
Billionaire Issad Rebrab and his family occupy the second place on the Forbes list of the richest Arabs for the year 2021, with a net worth of $ 5.1 billion. He is the only Algerian on the list.
Issad Rebrab is the founder and CEO of Cevital, the largest private company in Algeria.
The list includes only two billionaires from Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch and his family with a net worth estimated at $2.2 billion, and Othman Benjelloun and his family with a net worth estimated at $1.5 billion, according to Forbes estimates.
Akhannouch, who holds a majority stake in the multi-billion dollar Akwa Group, was appointed prime minister of Morocco in September 2021, while Benjelloun is CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa.
The biggest gainer in percentage terms - up 125 percent - is Stryve Masiwa, from Zimbabwe, with a fortune of $2.7 billion, up from $1.2 billion last year. The shares of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which he founded, have surged more than 750% in the past year, helping to increase the size of his fortune.
The other winner is the Nigerian cement tycoon, Abdul Samad Rabio, who became $1.5 billion richer after another entity of his companies went public. In early January 2022, Rabiot listed his sugar and food company BUA Foods on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He and his son held a 96% stake in the company, which recently had a market value of about $2.8 billion. (Forbes discounts stock values when the shares offered for public subscription are less than 5%).
Forbes reported that only two of the 18 billionaires had their fortunes lower than they were last year, Cos Becker of South Africa, whose fortune fell to $ 2.7 billion from $ 2.8 billion as the share prices of the consumer internet companies Naspers and Prosus fell by more than 20 percent each, and Mohamed Dewji, from Tanzania, whose fortune has fallen to an estimated $1.5 billion from $1.6 billion a year ago due to lower returns on public companies' equity.
The 18 Billionaires
The 18 billionaires hail from Africa, and none of them are new to the list, and they come from seven different countries. South Africa and Egypt each have five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two. All billionaires on the continent are men, and the last woman to appear on the list was from Angola, Isabel dos Santos, dropped off the Forbes list in January 2021.
The Forbes list tracks the fortunes of African billionaires who live in Africa or have their primary businesses there, thus excluding Sudanese-born British billionaire Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim, and London-based billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, who is Egyptian. Strive Masiwa, a Zimbabwean based in London, appears on the list because of his telecom holdings in Africa.
Net wealth is calculated using stock prices and currency exchange rates from close of business on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. To assess a private business, it starts with estimates of revenue or earnings and applies the prevailing price-to-sale or price-earnings ratio for comparable public companies. The fortunes of some members of the list increase or decrease within weeks — or days — of the measurement date.