Top 10 wealthiest people in Africa in 2023 according to Forbes
Africa’s wealthiest people shed a combined $3.1 billion in the past 12 months, following a global decline for markets in 2022.
As a group, the continent’s 19 billionaires are worth an estimated $81.8 billion – down from the $84.9 billion that 18 African billionaires had 12 months ago.
The 3.6% dip on the 2023 Forbes ranking follows a jump of 15% last year on the back of soaring stock prices from Nigeria to Zimbabwe.
Their fortunes faded in sync with equity values around the world, with the S&P All Africa index dropping more than 20% in the first nine months of 2022, before starting a late-year rally that left the index down just 3% over the past 12 months.
The fortune of Nigeria’s Alike Dangote, Africa’s richest person for the 12th year in a row, fell $400 million to $13.5 billion. South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert held onto the No. 2 spot with $10.7 billion, down from $11 billion in 2022 as shares of his Compagnie Financiere Richemont – maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens – clawed back much – but not all – of last year’s decline. South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo American a decade ago, ranks No. 3, worth an estimated $8.4 billion.
This year’s list sees the return of South Africa’s Christoffel Wiese, who lands at No. 18 with $1.1 billion. Wiese, who was worth more than $6 billion after he sold his bargain retailer, Pepkor, to Steinhoff International for $5.7 billion in 2015, lost his billionaire status two years later when an accounting scandal cratered Steinhoff’s stock. He sued, and in March 2022 collected 7 billion South African rand (about $400 million) from Steinhoff in cash and shares totaling about 5% of publicly traded Pepkor.
Thanks to his return, South Africa now has five billionaires, the most of any African country, followed by Egypt with four and Nigeria with three. Altogether billionaires from seven African countries made the list.
1. ALIKO DANGOTE
Net worth: $13.5 billion
Rank in 2022: 1
Net worth in 2022: $13.9 billion
Origin of wealth: Cement and Sugar Self-made
* 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 has the capacity to produce 48.6 million metric tons annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa.
* After many years in development, Dangote’s fertilizer plant in Nigeria began operations in March 2022.
* Dangote Refinery has been under construction since 2016 and is expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries once complete.
2. JOHANN RUPERT AND FAMILY
Net worth: $10.7 billion
Rank in 2022: 2
Net worth in 2022: $11 billion
Origin of wealth: Luxury goods Inherited and growing
Country: South Africa
Residence: Cape Town
* 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 Anton formed in the 1940s.
* He owns 7% of diversified investment firm Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 26% of Reinet, an investment holding company based in Luxembourg.
* Rupert has been a vocal opponent of plans to allow fracking in the Karoo, a region of South Africa where he owns land.
3. NICKY OPPENHEIMER & FAMILY
Net worth: $8.4 billion
Rank in 2022: 3
Net worth in 2022: $8.7 billion
Origin of wealth: Diamonds Inherited
Country: South Africa
* Nicky Oppenheimer, heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune, sold his 40% of the firm to mining group Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012.
* He was 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.
* In 2014, Oppenheimer started Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg, which operates chartered flights.
* He owns at least 720 square miles of conservation land across South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
4. ABDULSAMAD RABIU
Net worth: $7.6 billion
Rank in 2022: 5
Net worth in 2022: $7 billion
Origin of wealth: Cement and Sugar Inherited and growing
* 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 98.2% 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. NASSEF SAWIRIS
Net worth: $7.2 billion
Rank in 2022: 4
Net worth in 2022: $8.6 billion
Origin of wealth: Construction and Investments
Inherited and growing
* 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.
* Orascom Construction, an engineering and building firm, trades on the Cairo exchange and Nasdaq Dubai.
* His holdings include stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas; he sits on the supervisory board of Adidas.
* Nassef Sawiris teamed up with Fortress Investment Group’s Wes Edens to purchase the Premier League’s Aston Villa Football Club.
6. MIKE ADENUGA
Net worth: $5.6 billion
Rank in 2022: 6
Net worth in 2022: $6.7 billion
Origin of wealth: Telecom and Oil Self-made
* Adenuga, Nigeria’s third 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 Producing,operates6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
* Adenuga got an MBA at Pace University in NewYork, supporting himself as a student by working as a taxi driver.
* He made his first million at age 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks.
7. ISSAD REBRAB & FAMILY
Net worth: $4.6 billion
Rank in 2022: 7
Net worth in 2022: $5.1 billion
Origin of wealth: Food Self-made
* Rebrab founded Cevital and served as it’s CEO for more than 50 years; He named his son, Malik, CEO in July 2022.
* Cevital, Algeria’s biggest privately-held company, 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.
* After serving 8 months in jailon charges of corruption, Rebrab was released on January 1, 2020. He denies any wrongdoing.
8. NAGUIB SAWIRIS
Net worth: $3.3 billion
Rank in 2022: 8
Net worth in 2022: $3.4 billion
Origin of wealth: Telecom Inherited and growing
* 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.
* He’s chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which has stakes in an asset manager in Egypt and Italian internet company Italiaonline, among others.
* Through his Media Globe Holdings, Sawiris owns 88% of pan-European pay TV and video news network Euronews.
* He also developed a luxury resort called Silversands on the Caribbean island of Grenada.
9. PATRICE MOTSEPE
Net worth: $3.1 billion
Rank in 2022: 9
Net worth in 2022: $3.1 billion
Origin of wealth: Mining Self-made
Country: South Africa Residence: Johannesburg
* 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 private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa.
* Motsepe also has a stake in Sanlam, a listed financial services firm, and is the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
* In March 2021, Motsepe was elected president of the Confederation of African Football, the sport’s governing body on the continent.
* In 1994, he became the first black partner at law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg, and then started a mining services contracting business.
* In 1997, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and later turned them profitable.
10. MOHAMED MANSOUR
Net worth: $2.8 billion
Rank in 2022: 12
Net worth in 2022: $2.5 billion
Origin of wealth: Diversified Self-made
* Mohamed Mansour oversees family conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d. 1976) in 1952 and has 60,000 employees.
* Mansour established General Motors dealerships in Egypt in 1975, later becoming one of GM’s biggest distributors worldwide.
* Mansour Group also has exclusive distribution rights for Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and seven other African countries.
* Mansour, who has both Egyptian and U.K. citizenship, served as Egypt’s minister of transportation from 2006 to 2009 under the Hosni Mubarak regime.
* His brothers Yasseen and Youssef, who share ownership in the family group, are also billionaires.
Source: Forbes Africa