As African billionaires’ wealth rises 15% to $84.9bn
For the 11th year in a row, the president of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote retained the continent’s richest person, worth an estimated $13.9 billion.
This was revealed in the new Forbes Billionaires’ List: Africa’s Richest People 2022.
According to the report, Africa’s billionaires became richer during the period under review despite the devastating impacts of the global pandemic on businesses around the world.“The continent’s 18 billionaires are now worth an estimated $84.9 billion, which implies a 15 per cent increase from twelve months ago and the most since 2014, when a larger number of billionaires were worth a combined $96.5 billion.
“On average, the continent’s billionaires are worth $4.7 billion now as against $3.4 billion in 2014. Soaring stock prices from Nigeria to Zimbabwe lifted the fortunes of these tycoons, as demand for products from cement to luxury goods ticked up,” he pointed out.
The report stated that, Dangote of Nigeria is the continent’s richest person, worth an estimated $13.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion last year following a 30 per cent increase in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.
According to the report, analysts found that a surge in housing development in Nigeria and growth in government infrastructure spending drove higher demand in the first nine months of 2021.
Luxury goods magnate, Johann Rupert of South Africa, who was ranked fourth among the billionaires, rose to second spot in the latest rankings.“A more than 60 per cent surge in the share price of his Compagnie Financiere Richemont; maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens pushed his fortune to $11 billion, up from $7.2 billion a year ago, making him the biggest dollar gainer on the list,” the report said.
Similarly, the report said, South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo American a decade ago, ranks number three, and worth an estimated $8.7 billion.
It noted further that, “Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe became the biggest gainer in percentage terms, up by 125 per cent worth $2.7 billion, up from $1.2 billion last year. Shares of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which he founded, rose more than 750 per cent in the past year, helping to drive up the size of his fortune.
“The chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu becomes another gainer, who is $1.5 billion richer after taking yet another of his companies public. In early January 2022, Rabiu listed his sugar and food firm, BUA Foods on the Nigerian Exchange.”
The report pointed out that, “only two of the 18 billionaires are worth less than last year: Koos Bekker of South Africa, who dropped to $2.7 billion from $2.8 billion as the share prices of consumer Internet firms Naspers and Prosus fell more than 20 per cent each, and Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania, whose fortune declined to an estimated $1.5 billion from $1.6 billion a year ago due to lower multiples for publicly traded competitors.
“The 18 billionaires from Africa, none of whom are new to the ranks, hail from seven different countries. South Africa and Egypt each have five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two. All of the continent’s billionaires are men; the last woman to appear in the ranks, Isabel dos Santos of Angola, fell off the Forbes list in January 2021.
It explained that “our list tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary business there, 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 due to his telecom holdings in Africa.
Net worths, it stressed, were calculated using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on January 19, 2022, adding that, “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.”