The richest have survived the pandemic just fine, as they have in other parts of the world. The continent’s 18 billionaires are worth an average $4.1 billion, 12% more than a year ago, driven in part by Nigeria’s surging stock market.
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 second richest is Nassef Sawiris of Egypt, whose largest asset is a nearly 6% stake in sportswear maker Adidas. At number three: Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who inherited a stake in diamond firm DeBeers and ran the company until 2012, when he sold his family’s 40% stake in DeBeers to mining giant AngloAmerican for $5.1 billion.
The biggest gainer this year is another Nigerian cement tycoon, Abdulsamad Rabiu. 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 be floated to the public, or that the floated shares are worth at least 20 billion naira — 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.
The 18 billionaires from Africa hail from seven different countries. 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.
The Top 10 Africa's Richest People 2022
1. Aliko Dangote – Nigeria
$13.9B (Age 64)
2. Johann Rupert – South Africa
$10.5 B (Age 71)
3. Nicky Oppenheimer – South Africa
$8.7 B (Age 76)
4. Nassef Sawiris – Egypt
$8.4 B (Age 60)
5. Mike Adenuga – Nigeria
$6.7 B (Age 68)
6. Issad Rebrab – Algeria
$4.8 B (Age 78)
7. Abdulsamad Rabiu – Nigeria
$4.5 B (Age 61)
8. Naguib Sawiris – Egypt
$3.1 B (Age 67)
9. Patrice Motsepe – South Africa
$2.8 B (Age 59)
10. Koos Bekker – South Africa
$2.8 B (Age 69)