The world's richest Africans

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index published the list of the 500 richest men on the planet and there are six Africans included in this list of people with the largest accumulated fortune 
El presidente y consejero delegado de Dangote Industries, Aliko Dangote – PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP
Dangote Industries President and CEO Aliko Dangote - PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP

The list of the richest and most powerful men and women on the planet always arouses great public interest.  

  1. The six richest Africans
  2. Bloomberg Billionaires Index overview data

Bloomberg, a prestigious economic media, has just published its Billionaires Index with the 500 richest men in the world, updated until March 2024.  

And a continent such as Africa is also represented with six people included in the list of the 500 men with the most money on the planet. Although not with a large presence because none of them are among the 100 richest, which would be the main world top.  

According to this data, the fortune of the six richest men in Africa has increased by more than 3.15 billion dollars since the beginning of the year to more than 63 billion dollars, all of this with data updated until this March.  

Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are the home countries of the world's richest Africans. Egypt is going through a major economic crisis and Nigeria and South Africa are also experiencing uneven situations in terms of the economic possibilities of their respective populations, but they are home to the richest African citizens in the world. 

The six richest Africans

Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian businessman in the manufacturing sector, ranks 128th among the world's richest people, according to estimates from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index updated to March 2024.

The Nigerian businessman owns the Dangote Group, a business based primarily in cement, agribusiness and freight forwarding, including forays into the oil sector, with business interests in Nigeria and other African countries such as Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia. In March 2018, his net worth was estimated at 14.1 billion dollars and now his fortune has risen to 15.6 billion dollars. 

In 2013, he overtook Ethiopian-Saudi billionaire Mohamed Hussein al-Amoudi to become the richest man of African descent in the world. 

Behind Aliko Dangote on the African scale, he is followed in 162nd position by Johann Rupert and family, who hail from South Africa and are engaged in a diversified economy across a range of activities. The group has seen its fortune grow by 758 million dollars since the beginning of the year to 13.2 billion dollars at the end of March 2024. This wealth puts it in second place in terms of African wealth. South African billionaire Johann Rupert heads a family conglomerate that includes the Swiss luxury group Compagnie Financière Richemont (Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Dunhill, etc.). In addition to the luxury sector, the group has holdings in various investment funds.

El empresario Johann Rupert acompañado de su esposa Gaynor Rupert – PHOTO/GES/Laureus World Sports Awards/Picture-Alliance/AFP/GES-Sportfoto/MARKUS GILLIAR
Businessman Johann Rupert with his wife Gaynor Rupert - PHOTO/GES/Laureus World Sports Awards/Picture-Alliance/AFP/GES-Sportfoto/MARKUS GILLIAR

Behind in 223rd place is Nicky Oppenheimer, also from South Africa and mainly involved in mining and diamonds, with a fortune estimated at 10.7 billion dollars. The Oppenheimer family's fortune comes mainly from the sale of its stake in the DeBeers Group in 2012 to Anglo American for 5.1 billion dollars. 

Nicky Oppenheimer - AFP PHOTO/BRIGITTE WEIDLICH
Nicky Oppenheimer - AFP PHOTO/BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

In 300th place in the world is Nassef Sawiris, from Egypt, with a fortune estimated at $8.6 billion thanks to the BTP Group's industrial business. 

Nassef Sawiris, the youngest son of Egypt's richest family, made his own career as a successful entrepreneur and is at the head of a corporate conglomerate in the construction sector that is valued at more than 8.5 billion dollars. 

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in economics, Nassef Sawiris joined the family business BTP Orascom Construction Industries in 1992. Within six years he rose to the top and became CEO in 1998. Sawiris expanded the group's activities regionally, from Algeria to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, while laying the foundations for diversification.

Nassef Sawiris - Photo by Kevin Dietsch/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images vía AFP
Nassef Sawiris - Photo by Kevin Dietsch/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images vía AFP

Nassef Sawiris is a major investor in the sports business and holds a 6% stake in Adidas and a 5% stake in Madison Square Garden Sports, the New York-based owner of the New York Rangers (NHL) and New York Knicks (NBA). He is also co-owner of English Premier League football club Aston Villa with Wes Edens. 

The fifth African in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index is another South African, Nathan "Natie" Kirsh, who ranks 312th among the world's richest people with a fortune of 8.26 billion dollars, 642 million more than last January, with a business mainly related to the food sector. "Natie" Kirsh is a South African billionaire businessman and philanthropist who heads the Kirsh Group, which owns a majority stake in New York-based wholesaler Jetro Holdings, which owns Restaurant Depot and Jetro Cash & Carry. The conglomerate also owns stakes and investments in Australia, Eswatini (Swaziland), the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel. Kirsh lives in Eswatini (Swaziland) and is also resident in the UK and the US. 

Gerard Mosse, Linda Mirels, Frances Kirsh y Nathan Kirsh asisten a la Noche de Apertura de la Ópera Metropolitana 2017 en The Metropolitan Opera House el 25 de septiembre de 2017 en la ciudad de Nueva York – PHOTO/Dia Dipasupil/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images vía AFP
Gerard Mosse, Linda Mirels, Frances Kirsh and Nathan Kirsh attend the 2017 Metropolitan Opera Opening Night at The Metropolitan Opera House on September 25, 2017 in New York City - PHOTO/Dia Dipasupil/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

Finally, Naguib Sawiris, brother of Nassef Sawiris, who has a wealth of 6.69 billion dollars and is the 412th richest man in the world, is another Egyptian heir. He is another Egyptian heir to the Sawiris family that owns the family business BTP Orascom Construction Industries, although, unlike Nassef, he moved into the telecommunications and media sector in Egypt. 

Naguib Sawiris - AFP PHOTO/EL GOUNA FILM FESTIVAL
Naguib Sawiris - AFP PHOTO/EL GOUNA FILM FESTIVAL

Bloomberg Billionaires Index overview data

At the end of the first three months of this year, the wealth of the six Africans included in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world's 500 richest people, increased by more than 3.15 billion dollars to 63 billion dollars. This combined fortune is equivalent to that of China's Zhong Shanshan, ranked 23rd in the world as one of the richest men on the planet. Therefore, no African billionaire is among the 100 richest men in the world. 

According to Bloomberg, "the index is a dynamic measure of personal wealth based on changes in the markets, the economy and Bloomberg reports". Each net worth is updated daily after the close of trading in New York and valuations are converted to US dollars at prevailing exchange rates. 

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