Forbes by Kerry Dolan
November 19, 2014
For the first time in the four years that FORBES has been tracking Africa’s richest, Nigeria bests South Africa. At the top yet again is cement tycoon Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, joined on the list of Africa’s 50 Richest by 12 other countrymen. In comparison South Africa claims 11 spots, down from 14 a year ago. Nigeria is showing its strength, having earned commendations for its efforts to snuff out Ebola in the country, which Dangote helped fund — and despite a recent drop in oil prices.
There are three new billionaires on the list: Orji Uzor Kalu of Nigeria, Tony Elumelu of Nigeria and King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Three billionaires on last year’s list are no longer members of the 10-figure club: Vimal Shah of Kenya is off the list, replaced by his father Bhimji Depar Shah at a lower net worth. Abdulsamad Rabiu of Nigeria dropped below $1 billion due to ceased operations at his floating cement terminal in Nigeria. And South African mining mogul Desmond Sacco dropped to a net worth of $680 million, down from $1.4 billion last year, because of a sharp decline in the share price of his mining firm Assore Group. The net result: the number of billionaires on the list stayed steady with 2013 at 27.
Africa’s 50 richest are, as a whole, wealthier than a year ago. Their combined net worth of $110.7 billion is 6.7% more than in November 2013. The minimum net worth needed to join this elite group rose to $510 million, up from $400 million a year ago.
Behind Aliko Dangote at number one with a fortune of $21.6 billion, comes South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert, number two for the second year in a row, worth an estimated $7.3 billion. His Compagnie Financiere Richemont has a stable of luxury brands including Cartier, Montblanc and fashion house Azzedine Alaia.
Six newcomers join the list of richest Africans, including the above mentioned new billionaires, as well as Ali Wakrim of Morocco and Ahmed Ezz of Egypt. Mohamed Bensalah of Morocco rejoins the list after dropping off in 2013. Seven members of the 2013 list fell off: Vimal Shah of Kenya (as mentioned earlier, his father Bhimji replaced him), Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Raymond Ackerman of South Africa, Sani Bello of Nigeria, Adrian Gore of South Africa, Shafik Gabr of Egypt, and Alami Lazraq of Morocco.
The oldest person on the list is 85 – both Miloud Chaabi of Morocco and Onsi Sawiris of Egypt share that age. The youngest is Mohammed “Mo” Dewji of Tanzania, age 39. The number of women on the list is two, unchanged from a year ago. Thirty-five of the fortunes were self made; two were inherited and the remaining 13 were inherited but are being expanded. The average net worth of each list member is $2.2 billion, compared to $2.1 billion a year ago.
Our list tracks the wealth of African citizens who reside on the continent, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen, and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen. We calculated net worths using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, November 7. To value privately-held businesses, we couple estimates of revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies.
We have purposely excluded dispersed family fortunes such as the Chandaria family of Kenya and the Madhvanis of Uganda, because the wealth is believed to be held by dozens of family members. We do include wealth belonging to a member’s immediate relatives if the wealth can be traced to one living individual; in that case, you’ll see “& family” on our list as an indication.