Dangote, Adenuga, Rabiu Make Top 10 On Forbes’ Africa Billionaires List

Posted on January 24, 2021

FUNSHO AROGUNDADE

Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs —Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and Abdul Samad Rabiu— appear in the top spots of recently released Forbes’ Africa billionaires list.

These Nigerians and South Africans dominate the top 10 spot on Forbes’ Africa billionaires list, which is an annual ranking of the richest Africans compiled and published by the foremost international business magazine.

The 10 richest people in Africa according to Forbes have made their wealth sources including investments in diamonds, telecom, cement, sugar, media and mining amongst others.

In total, they have a combined net of $59.8 billion.

For the tenth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the continent’s richest person, worth $12.1 billion, up by $2 billion from last year’s list thanks to a roughly 30% rise in the share price of Dangote Cement, by far his most valuable asset. 

The biggest gainer this year is Rabiu, another Nigerian cement tycoon.

Remarkably, shares of his BUA Cement Plc, which listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in January 2020, have doubled in value in the past year.

That pushed Rabiu’s fortune up by an extraordinary 77%, to $5.5 billion.

One thing to note: Rabiu and his son together own about 97% of the company, giving the company a tiny public float.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange requires that either 20% or more of a company’s shares to be floated to the public, or that the floated shares are worth at least N20 billion — about $50 million — a paltry sum, to be sure.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Stock Exchange told Forbes that BUA Cement meets the second requirement. (Forbes discounts the value of stakes when the public float of a company is less than 5%.) 

In Africa —as elsewhere in the world—there are 18 billionaires who came through the pandemic just fine.

These continent’s 18 billionaires hail from seven different countries. (See the full list of the Continent’s 18 billionaires here)

South Africa and Egypt each have five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two.

Altogether they are worth $73.8 billion, slightly more than the $73.4 billion aggregate worth of the 20 billionaires on last year’s list of Africa’s richest people.

While some got richer by the billions, two from the 2020 list of Africa’s richest dropped below the $1 billion mark.

In fact, the only two women billionaires from Africa have both fallen off the list. 

Forbes calculates that the fortune of Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria, who owns an oil exploration company, dropped below $1 billion due to lower oil prices.

And Isabel dos Santos, who since 2013 has been the richest woman in Africa, was knocked from her perch by a series of court decisions freezing her assets in both Angola and Portugal.

Forbes explained that its lists tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary business there, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen.

Strive Masiyiwa, a citizen of Zimbabwe and a London resident, appears on the list of 18 billionaires due to his telecom holdings in Africa.

“We calculated net worths using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 8, 2021. To value privately held businesses, we start with estimates of revenues or profits and apply prevailing price-to-sale or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies. Some list members grow richer or poorer within weeks-or days-of our measurement date,” Forbes stated.

Below is the profile of the Top 10:

10. Koos Bekker

  • Net Worth: $2.8billion
  • Age: 68
  • Location: South Africa
  • Origin of wealth: Media and Investments
  • Company: Naspers

According to Forbes, Koos Bekker is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher, Naspers into an eCommerce investor and cable TV powerhouse. In 2019, Naspers put some assets into two publicly-traded companies, MultiChoice Group and Prosus which contain the Tencent stake.

9. Patrice Motsepe

  • Net Worth: $3billion
  • Age: 58
  • Location: South Africa
  • Origin of wealth: Mining
  • Company: African Rainbow Materials

Patrice Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became a billionaire in 2008 – the first black African on the Forbes list. In 2016, he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa.

8. Naguib Sawiris

  • Net Worth: $3.2billion
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Egypt
  • Origin of wealth: Telecom
  • Company: Orascom Telecom Holding

Naguib Sawiris is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Nassef is also a billionaire. He built a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm, VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction.

7. Isaad Rebrab

  • Net Worth: $3.2billion
  • Age: 76
  • Location: Algeria
  • Origin of wealth: Food
  • Company: Cevital Industrial Group

Issad Rebrab is the founder and CEO of Cevital, Algeria’s biggest privately-held company. Cevital owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world, with the capacity to produce 2 million tons a year. Cevital owns European companies, including French home appliances maker Groupe Brandt, an Italian steel mill and a German water purification company.

6. Abdul Samad Rabiu

  • Net Worth: $5.5billion
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Nigeria
  • Origin of wealth: Cement, Sugar
  • Company: BUA Group

Abdulsamad 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 Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange; Rabiu owns 98.5% of it. Rabiu, the son of a businessman, inherited land from his father. He set up his own business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals.

5. Mike Adenuga

  • Net worth: $6.3billion
  • Age: 67
  • Location: Nigeria
  • Origin of wealth: Telecom, Oil
  • Company: Globacom

Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, built his fortune in telecom and oil production. His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the third-largest operator in Nigeria, with 55 million subscribers. His oil exploration outfit, Conoil, operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger-Delta.

4. Johann Rupert

  • Net Worth: $7.2billion
  • Age: 70
  • Location: South Africa
  • Origin of wealth: Luxury goods
  • Company: Compagnie Financiere Richemont

Johann Rupert is chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm, Compagnie Financiere Richemont. The company is best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc. It was formed in 1998 through a spinoff of assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), which his father formed in the 1940s. He owns a 7% stake in diversified investment firm Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, an investment holding co. based in Luxembourg.

3. Nicky Oppenheimer

  • Net Worth: $8billion
  • Age: 75
  • Location: South Africa
  • Origin of wealth: Diamonds
  • Company: De Beers Group

Nicky Oppenheimer, the heir to his family’s fortune, sold his 40% stake in diamond firm, DeBeers to mining group, Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012. He is the third generation of his family to run DeBeers, and took the company private in 2001. For 85 years until 2012, the Oppenheimer family occupied a controlling spot in the world’s diamond trade.

2. Nassef Sawiris

  • Net Worth: $8.5billion
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Egypt
  • Origin of wealth: Constructions, Investments
  • Company: Orascom Construction

Nassef Sawiris is an investor and a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His most valuable asset is a nearly 6% stake in sportswear maker Adidas. In December 2020, he acquired a 5% stake in New York-listed firm Madison Square Garden Sports, owner of the NBA Knicks and the NHL Rangers teams. He runs OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa; it trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange.

1. Aliko Dangote

  • Net Worth: $12.1billion
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Nigeria
  • Origin of wealth: Cement, Sugar
  • Company: Dangote Group

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. He owns 85% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company. Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tons annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa. Dangote also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt and sugar manufacturing companies. Dangote Refinery has been under construction since 2016 and is expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries once complete.

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