Billionaires List: Africa’s Richest People In 2024

Published 1 month ago
By Forbes | Rob LaFranco and Giacomo Tognini
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The continent’s 20 billionaires are worth a combined $82.4 billion. That’s up $900 million from last year’s $81.5 billion.

The fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest people have rebounded slightly in the past 12 months, reversing the decline in their fortunes from a year ago, though they are still off their all-time highs. The 20 billionaires on the 2024 Forbes list of Africa’s Richest are worth a combined $82.4 billion. That’s up $900 million from last year’s $81.5 billion.

All of that gain can be attributed to the return of Nigeria’s Femi Otedola, who last appeared on the Forbes Africa list in 2017 when he held a controlling stake in fuel distributor Forte Oil. Otedola phased out his oil investments during a government push to privatize the country’s energy business in 2013, using a Forte subsidiary to purchase Geregu, a public power generation plant. He owned about 90% of Geregu when it was listed on the Nigerian exchange’s Main Board in 2022, but has since sold shares to institutional investors, which include Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa and the State Grid Corporation of China. His 73% stake in Geregu is worth more than $850 million, about three-quarters of his $1.1 billion fortune, which puts him at No. 19 on the list.

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After taking Otedola’s comeback into account, Africa’s billionaires dipped slightly, but still fared better than the decline of 4% last year, when African markets faded in sync with equity values around the world. This year, African equities joined a late-year global rally, with the S&P All Africa index rising 10% in the final two months of 2023 but still ended down more than 9% in the 12 months through January 8, 2024.

The continent remains one of the world’s toughest places to build – and hold onto – a billion-dollar fortune, as global investors remain leery of its stock exchanges, businesses struggle against strained economies, poor infrastructure and volatile exchange rates, while changing political winds can make, boost or bust private fortunes. As a result, says Charles Robertson, head of macro strategy at asset manager FIM Partners, entrepreneurs often face limited access to capital and populations with little disposable income to invest in new companies or the stock market.

A turbulent 2023 also made African equities less attractive for foreign investors. “You’ve got two negatives for investors. Weakening domestic [currencies], which is pushing up inflation, and tax rises, which is hurting the companies they’re investing in,” says Robertson. “Central banks have been hiking rates as well, so you’ve had big rate hikes and currency weakness and tax rises all at once. And if there was any chance that mix wasn’t going to deter all foreign investors, then throw in multiple coups happening, and it just created a very nasty storm.”

That environment favors entrenched family fortunes or those with close ties to government that continue to dominate the ranks of Africa’s richest. Nigeria’s Alike Dangote, whose fortune rose $400 million to $13.9 billion, claimed the ranking’s No. 1 spot for the 13th year in a row, despite the political uncertainty following the February presidential election and a devaluation of the naira in 2023 that offset the rising share price of Dangote Cement.

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South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert held onto the No. 2 spot with $10.1 billion, down from $10.7 billion in 2023 as shares of his Compagnie Financiere Richemont – maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens – slid. 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, with $9.4 billion, up $1 billion from 2023. Thirteen of the billionaires added to their fortunes this year, while seven saw their net worth decline.

South Africa’s Christoffel Wiese, who rejoined the ranking last year at No. 18 with $1.1 billion after rebounding from an accounting scandal, holds onto his No. 18 rank with a $1.2 billion net worth, thanks to rising shares of his largest holding, Shoprite, and the spinoff of food business Premiere Group from Brait PLC. Wiese also cashed out on $50 million worth of Shoprite stock in October, reducing his stake in the supermarket chain.

The biggest decline on this year’s list belongs to Algerian industrial magnate Issad Rebrab, who was barred by a court in May from exercising any commercial or management duties at his conglomerate Cevital. Rebrab, who denied any wrongdoing, had previously served eight months in jail on corruption charges until his release in January 2020. Rebrab, who shares the wealth with his wife and five children – including his son, Malik, who took over as CEO in 2022 – saw his net worth fall by almost half to $2.5 billion.

The biggest gain belongs to Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris, who added

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$1.4 billion to $8.7 billion thanks to a rise in Adidas shares (he owns about 6%), as well as dividends from the German sneaker company and family conglomerate OCI.

This year, South Africa claims six spots on the ranking, followed by Egypt with five and Nigeria with four. Algeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe each have one billionaire on the list, while Morocco has two.

Forbes used stock prices and currency exchange rates from January 8, 2024 to measure the net worths.

METHODOLOGY

Our list 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 South African Nathan Kirsh, who operates out of London. Strive Masiyiwa, a citizen of Zimbabwe and a London resident, appears on the list due to his telecom holdings in Africa.

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Net worths were calculated using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on January 8, 2024. 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.


1. ALIKO DANGOTE

Net worth: $13.9 billion
Rank in 2023: 1
Net worth in 2023: $13.5 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Cement and Sugar
Industry: Manufacturing
Age: 66
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos

  • 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, which had been under construction since 2016, has begun refining operations this year.

2. JOHANN RUPERT AND FAMILY

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Net worth: $10.1 billion
Rank in 2023: 2
Net worth in 2023: $10.7 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth: Luxury goods Industry: Fashion and retail Age: 73
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.
  1. NICKY OPPENHEIMER & FAMILY

Net worth: $9.4 billion
Rank in 2023: 3
Net worth in 2023: $8.4 billion Inherited
Origin of wealth: Diamonds Industry: Metals and mining
Age: 78
Country: South Africa
Residence: Johannesburg

  • 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. NASSEF SAWIRIS

Photographer: Stephen Yang/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Net worth: $8.7 billion
Rank in 2023: 5
Net worth in 2023: $7.2 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth: Construction and investments
Industry: Construction and engineering
Age: 63
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

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  • Nassef Sawiris is an investor and a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family.
  • 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 a nearly 6% stake in German sportswear giant Adidas.
  • Nassef Sawiris teamed up with Fortress Investment Group’s Wes Edens to purchase the Premier League’s Aston Villa Football Club.

5. MIKE ADENUGA

Net worth: $6.9 billion
Rank in 2023: 6
Net worth in 2023: $5.6 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Telecom and oil
Industry: Diversified
Age: 70
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos

  • Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, built his fortune in telecom and oil production.
  • His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the second- largest operator in Nigeria, with 60 million subscribers.
  • His oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
  • Globacom also built Glo-1, a 6,100-mile-long submarine Internet cable to the U.K. via Ghana and Portugal.
  • Adenuga also owns 74% of publicly traded gasoline firm Conoil and just under 6% of publicly traded Nigerian bank Sterling Financial Holding.

6.  ABDULSAMAD  RABIU

Net worth: $5.9 billion
Rank in 2023: 4
Net worth in 2023: $7.6 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth: Cement and Sugar
Industry: Diversified
Age: 63
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos

  • 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. He also owns 95% of publicly traded food conglomerate BUA Foods.
  • Rabiu, the son of a businessman, inherited land from his father. He set up his own business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals.

7.  NAGUIB SAWIRIS

Net worth: $3.8 billion
Rank in 2023: 8
Net worth in 2022: $3.3 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth and industry: Telecom
Age: 69
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • 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.
  • He also developed a luxury resort called Silversands on the Caribbean island of Grenada

8. MOHAMED MANSOUR

Net worth: $3.2 billion
Rank in 2023: 10
Net worth in 2023: $2.8 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Diversified
Age: 76
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • 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.
  • His son Loutfy heads private equity arm Man Capital.

9. KOOS BEKKER

Net worth: $2.7 billion
Rank in 2023: 11
Net worth in 2023: $2.6 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Media, investments
Industry: Media, entertainment
Age: 71
Country: South Africa
Residence: Cape Town

  • Koos Bekker is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an e-commerce investor and cable TV powerhouse
  • He led Naspers to pay a reported $34 million for a third of Chinese Internet firm Tencent Holdings in 2001 – perhaps the greatest venture investment ever.
  • In 2019, Naspers put some assets into two publicly-traded companies, entertainment firm MultiChoice Group and Prosus, which contains the Tencent stake.
  • Naspers sold a 2% stake in Tencent in 2018; in April 2021, Prosus sold nearly $15 billion worth of Tencent, taking its stake to 29%.
  • Bekker, who retired as the CEO of Naspers in March 2014, returned as chairman in April 2015.

9. PATRICE MOTSEPE

Net worth: $2.7 billion
Rank in 2023: 9
Net worth in 2023: $3.1 billion Self-made
Origin of wealth: Mining Industry: Metals and mining
Age: 61
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. ISSAD REBRAB & FAMILY

Net worth: $2.5 billion
Rank in 2023: 7
Net worth in 2023: $4.6 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Food Industry: Food and beverage Age: 80
Country: Algeria
Residence: Algiers

  • Rebrab founded Cevital and served as its 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, and Spanish aluminum firm Alas Iberia.
  • After serving eight months in jail on charges of corruption, Rebrab was released on January 1, 2020. He denies any wrongdoing.
  • In May 2023, an Algerian court barred Rebrab from exercising any commercial or management duties at Cevital

12. MOHAMMED DEWJI

Net worth: $1.8 billion
Rank in 2023: 15
Net worth in 2023: $1.5 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth and industry: Diversified
Age: 48
Country: Tanzania
Residence: Dar es Salaam

  • Mohammed Dewji is the CEO of MeTL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.
  • MeTL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils
    in eastern, southern and central Africa.
  • In additional to Tanzania, MeTL operates in 10 African countries including Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • Dewji, Tanzania’s only billionaire, signed the Giving Pledge in 2016, promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
  • Dewji was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in October 2018 and released after nine days.

12. STRIVE MASIYIWA

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Net worth: $1.8 billion
Rank in 2023: 12
Net worth in 2023: $1.9 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth and industry: Telecom
Age: 62
Country: Zimbabwe
Residence: London

  • Strive Masiyiwa overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998.
  • He owns 38% of publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group, as well as roughly 33%
    of mobile phone-based money transfer firm EcoCash.
  • Masiyiwa also owns just over half of private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa.
  • His other assets include investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa plus stock options in Netflix, where he has served on the board since December 2020.
  • He and his wife Tsitsi founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor
    children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho.

14.AZIZ AKHANNOUCH & FAMILY

Net worth: $1.7 billion
Rank in 2023: 14
Net worth in 2023: $1.5 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth: Petroleum, Diversified
Industry: Diversified
Age: 63
Country: Morocco
Residence: Casablanca

  • Aziz Akhannouch is the majority owner of Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar conglomerate founded by his father and a partner, Ahmed Wakrim, in 1932.
  • It has interests in petroleum, gas and chemicals through publicly- traded Afriquia Gaz and Maghreb Oxygene.
  • Akhannouch was appointed prime minister of Morocco in September 2021.

15. OTHMAN BENJELLOUN & FAMILY

Net worth: $1.4 billion
Rank in 2023: 16
Net worth in 2023: $1.3 billion Inherited and growing
Origin of wealth: Banking and insurance
Industry: Finance and investments
Age: 91
Country: Morocco
Residence: Casablanca

  • Othman Benjelloun is CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa, which has a presence in more than 20 African countries.
  • His father was a shareholder in RMA, a Moroccan insurance company; Benjelloun built it into a leading insurer.
  • Through his holding company FinanceCom, he has a stake in the Moroccan arm of French telecom firm Orange.
  • He inaugurated in 2014 a $500 million plan to build the 55-storey Mohammed VI Tower in Rabat. It will be one of the tallest buildings in Africa.

16. YOUSSEF MANSOUR

Net worth: $1.3 billion
Rank in 2023: 13
Net worth in 2023: $1.5 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth and industry: Diversified
Age: 78
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • Youssef Mansour is chairman of family-owned conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d. 1976) in 1952.
  • Mansour Group is the exclusive distributor of GM vehicles and Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and several other countries.
  • He oversees the consumer goods division, which includes supermarket chain Metro, and sole distribution rights for L’Oreal in Egypt.
  • Younger brothers Mohamed and Yasseen are also billionaires and part owners of Mansour Group.

17. YASSEEN MANSOUR

Net worth: $1.2 billion
Rank in 2023: 19
Net worth in 2023: $1.1 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth and industry: Diversified Age: 62
Country: Egypt
Residence: Cairo

  • Yasseen Mansour is a shareholder in family-owned conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d. 1976) in 1952.
  • Mansour Group is the exclusive distributor of GM vehicles and Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and several other countries.
  • His brothers Mohamed and Youssef are also billionaires and part owners of Mansour Group.
  • He’s chairman of Palm Hills Developments, one of Egypt’s biggest real estate developers.

17. CHRISTOFFEL WIESE

Net worth: $1.2 billion
Rank in 2023: 18
Net worth in 2023: $1.1 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Retail Industry: Fashion and retail Age: 82
Country: South Africa
Residence: Cape Town

  • Christoffel Wiese built his Pepkor retail empire by offering bargain prices in South Africa, and expanded into other African countries.
  • In 2015, South Africa-based furniture retailer Steinhoff International spent $5.7 billion in cash and stock to acquire Pepkor.
  • He stepped down as Steinhoff chairman in December 2017 after the company disclosed accounting irregularities.
    Its share price plummeted and Wiese lost his billionaire status.
  • Wiese regained his nine- figure fortune in 2022 when he settled his dispute with Steinhoff for cash and stock, including a 5% stake in Pepkor.
  • His most valuable asset is Shoprite, but he also holds stakes in real estate firm Collins Property Group, investment holding company Brait and industrial products distributor Invicta Holdings.

19. MICHIEL LE ROUX

Net Worth: $1.1 billion
Rank in 2023: 17
Net worth in 2023: $1.2 billion
Self-made Origin of wealth: Banking Industry: Finance and investments
Age: 74
Country: South Africa
Residence: Stellenbosch

  • Michiel Le Roux of South Africa founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns about 11% of the shares.
  • The bank, which trades on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, targets South Africa’s emerging middle class.
  • He served as chairman of the board of Capitec from 2007 to 2016 and has continued on as a board member.
  • Le Roux previously ran Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town’s hinterland.

19. FEMI OTEDOLA

Net worth: $1.1 billion
Origin of wealth: Gas stations and utilities
Industry: Energy
Country: Nigeria
Residence: Lagos