30 Richest people in Africa

1. Aliko Dangote

World Economic Forum on Africa 2011

Source: World Economic Forum

Net Worth: $25.7 billion
Industry: Manufacturing
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 57
Number of Jobs Created: 32,900

Africa’s richest person continues to accumulate wealth at a startling pace in his quest to enter the exclusive club of the 10 richest people on the planet within the next decade. Over the past three decades he has systematically built up his fortune, and with current expansion plans for his Dangote group, shows no signs of stopping. His net worth has jumped from $20.2 billion last year to $25.7 billion this year.

Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Group is now the largest indigenous industrial conglomerate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Aliko, as he is fondly called by friends, was born into a wealthy trading family in the Northern Nigerian city of Kano on 10 April, 1957. Upon graduation from Al Azhar University in Egypt, where he obtained a business degree, Dangote went into full-time business after obtaining a $5,000 loan from his uncle. Through sheer tenacity, a punishing work ethic and bold decision-making, he has built one of the largest conglomerates in Africa, with over $21 billion in revenues. Dangote Cement – his conglomerate’s largest subsidiary, recorded a 2013 profit of $1.22 billion. He owns the largest sugar refinery in Africa, the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. His interests also include salt, flour mills, and several agricultural products, which he exports across the continent. Additionally, he has made major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles, and oil and gas. In April 2014, he announced $9 billion in financing for the construction of the largest petroleum products refinery in Africa in Nigeria. In August, his company struck a $5-billion deal with US investors, Blackstone Group, for power projects across Sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years. Dangote also announced an investment of $1 billion in rice production and commercial rice farming, with the aim of ensuring that rice is grown, milled and distributed within Nigeria. A firm believer in investing in Africans investing in Africa, Dangote recently declared that he will pump $12 billion into the Nigerian economy.

Aliko Dangote remains one of the most generous philanthropists in the world.  Dangote, who does things in no small measure, earlier this year announced that he will hand over $1.2 billion of his fortune to his foundation. The foundation has recently teamed up with GE to promote entrepreneurship across Nigeria, in addition to its existing work in health and education.

2. Sheik Al Amoudi

Net Worth: $12 billion
Industry: Construction/Real Estate/Oil
Country of Citizenship: Ethiopia/Saudi Arabia
Age: ?
Number of Jobs Created: 32,900

is a Saudi Arabian/Ethiopian businessman and billionaire who lives in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. In early March 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth at $10.8 billion and a relative fall in net value was linked to the global fall in oil and gold prices at the time of estimation.[1] The same source listed him as Ethiopia’s richest man, the second richest Saudi Arabian citizen in the world and the second richest black person in the world.[2] Al Amoudi made his fortune in construction and real estate before branching out to buy oil refineries in Sweden and Morocco. He is the largest individual foreign investor in Ethiopia and a major investor in Sweden[1]

2. Mike Adenuga


Net Worth: $8 billion
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 61
Number of Jobs Created: 6,080

Nigeria’s second richest man saw little change in his fortune from last year. “The Bull”, as Adenuga is often called, continues to build his empire centered around Globacom (Glo), a telecommunications company with over 25 million active subscribers in Nigeria and about 30 million subscribers across West Africa. One of the fastest-growing telecommunications companies in the world, Globacom recently completed an $800 million high-capacity fibre-optic submarine cable from the UK to Nigeria in advance of its big push into data services provision. Adenuga’s other major asset, Conoil Producing, founded in the early 1990s, was the first Nigerian indigenous oil exploration and production company to strike oil in commercial quantities. It currently produces 100,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Adenuga also owns a 74-percent stake in Conoil Plc, a petroleum marketing outfit listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which reported revenues of about $1 billion for 2013. Adenuga is also a big player in the real estate space and owns major real estate assets in Nigeria, the UK, South Africa and several European countries.

Adenuga began his career relatively modestly, trading in fabrics and textiles popular with Nigerian men and women. He also distributed Coca-Cola products and secured a number of lucrative government contracts. Adenuga is currently grooming the next generation to take over his business empire. His daughter Bella and his son Paddy are actively involved in his business empire, serving in different capacities at either the board or executive level.
Rupert-Johann. en.wikipedia.org

3. Johann Rupert

Net Worth: $7.8 billion
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: South Africa
Age: 64
Number of Jobs Created: 1,465

Johann Rupert is South Africa’s richest person this year. He is the chairman and largest shareholder of Swiss-based luxury goods company, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, which owns 20 premium brands including Cartier, Dunhill, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Chloe, and Piaget, among others. He is also chairman and the largest shareholder of Remgro, an investment company with financial, mining and industrial interests. Both companies were founded by his father Anton Rupert, who grew a small garage-based cigarette manufacturing operation into major industrial and luxury goods concerns.

Richemont is the sixth largest company on the Swiss stock exchange and the third largest luxury goods chain in the world. It reported sales of €10.6 billion for the year ended March 2014 and an operating profit of €2.4 billion. Johann grew up in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape province of South Africa. He attended but dropped out of the University of Stellenbosch, where he studied economics and law. Stellenbosch University later awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in economics. He currently serves as Stellenbosch University Chancellor. Rupert also owns two of South Africa’s best-known vineyards, Rupert & Rothschild and Anthonij Rupert Wines, which between them produce some of the country’s most acclaimed wines. An avid golfer, cricketer and conservationist, Rupert serves as the head of the South African PGA Tour and the South African Golf Development Board. He also founded the Franschhoek Motor Museum, which houses his personal collection of over 200 antique motor vehicles.

Alakija -- romancemeetslife

4. Folorunsho Alakija

Net Worth: $7.3 billion
Industry: Oil and Gas
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 63
Number of Jobs Created: 800

Africa’s richest woman and the world’s richest black woman has enjoyed increased recognition since Ventures Africa uncovered her wealth last year. She owns and runs Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil company that owns a 60-percent stake in OML 127, one of Nigeria’s most prolific oil blocks.

Located in Nigeria’s offshore Agbami deep water field, which is said to contain about 1 billion barrels of oil, OML 127 produces in excess of 200,000 barrels per day. It is widely believed that Alakija’s friendship with Maryam Babangida, the late wife of former Nigerian military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida, played a huge role in her relatively inexpensive acquisition of the oil block back in 1993. Famfa immediately entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Ltd (a subsidiary of Chevron and Brazil’s Petrobas), ceding a 40-percent stake to the company. Alakija survived an earlier scare over a decade ago when former Nigerian President Obasanjo forcefully acquired a 50-percent stake in her oil block and transferred ownership to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Famfa Oil battled the Nigerian government in court for 12 years, eventually winning a reinstatement of her stake in May 2013.

Alakija is also one of the biggest players in the Nigerian and European real estate markets. She purchased four apartments in One Hyde Park, known to be the single most expensive apartment building in the UK, if not the world. Alakija is very vocal about her Christian faith and prefers to focus attention on her philanthropic activities through her Rose of Sharon Foundation, which seeks to empower widows and orphans. She is also the vice chairman of Nigeria’s National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts. The council, chaired by fellow Nigerian billionaire Igho Sanomi, is charged with ensuring the preservation and promotion of Nigerian places and objects of cultural and historical significance.

Orascom Construction IndustriesIndustries CEO Nassef Sawiris Interview

5. Nassef Sawiris

Net Worth: $6.9 BILLION
Industry: Construction
Country of Citizenship: Egypt
Age: 53
Number of Jobs Created: 29,108

The youngest of three sons of Egyptian billionaire and founder of the Orascom conglomerate, Onsi Sawiris, Nassef is not only the richest of the children but also the richest Egyptian and the richest North African on our list. He grew his fortune by $1.7 billion from last year alone. A graduate of the German International School of Cairo and the University of Chicago, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Nassef heads Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt’s most valuable company. OCI is a leading construction and fertiliser producer, with projects and investments across North Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America. It employs over 100,000 people in Egypt alone. In early 2014, the company began construction on a $1.8 billion nitrogen fertiliser plant in Iowa, a state in the central United States of America. The company also has interests in major shale gas projects in the US. In January 2013, Nassef announced that OCI would exchange all global depositary receipts of the company for newly issued shares or for cash. The overwhelming majority of the shareholders accepted the buyout offer, which led to the company’s delisting on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.

Nassef is not without controversy. In July 2014 he met with the prime minister of Egypt in what many believe was a bid to settle a longstanding dispute with the Egyptian government resulting from the 2007 sale of OCI subsidiary, Orascom Cement, to French cement giant Lafarge for $12.8 billion. In September 2014, an Egyptian court upheld a three-year jail sentence issued for not paying taxes on the 2007 transaction.

6. Nicky Oppenheimer

Net Worth: $6.5 BILLION
Industry: Mining
Country of Citizenship: South Africa
Age: 69
Number of Jobs Created: 15,365

In 2012, Nicky Oppenheimer sold his family’s 40-percent stake in De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, to mining behemoth Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash. The sale ended eight decades of Oppenheimer control of De Beers. The huge cash inflow afforded Oppenheimer’s son Jonathan the freedom to pursue different business interests on behalf of the family.

In 1927 Oppenheimer’s grandfather Sir Ernest, took over De Beers, a company originally founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1888, and consolidated the company’s global monopoly over the world’s diamond industry. Nicky was the last Oppenheimer to serve as Chairman of DeBeers. In 2011, E Oppenheimer & Sons, the family-owned investment firm which Nicky controls, partnered with Temasek, the investment firm of the Government of Singapore, to form Tana Africa Capital, a $300-million private equity fund that invests in agriculture, education, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), and media. Tana plans to take stakes of between 25 and 50 percent in targeted companies, investing between $40 million and $50 million per deal.

Nicky is an outspoken advocate for investments in Africa over aid. In 2005, he called on developed countries to invest more and assist with education and skills training over the long term. A keen supporter of wildlife and conservation projects, Nicky Oppenheimer and his wife Orcilla Lasch have won numerous awards for their conservation work. Oppenheimer owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, which is home to critically endangered animals such as the desert black rhino and the black-maned Kalahari lions. Oppenheimer attended Harrow School in the UK and obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oxford University.

Gray -- allangrayorbis.org

7. Allan Gray

Net Worth: $6.2 BILLION
Industry: Financial Services
Country of Citizenship: South Africa
Age: 76
Number of Jobs Created: 23,345

South Africa’s former richest man still remains its most respected investor and founder of the country’s largest privately owned asset manager firm, Allan Gray Limited, which has assets under management in excess of $30 billion. According to inside sources, Allan Gray’s global mandate share portfolio has achieved an average annual return of 28 percent since 1974. His key to success includes rigorous research and the consistent application of Allan Gray Limited’s time-tested approach of buying heavily into companies whose share price is less than its intrinsic value.

The reclusive billionaire initially studied at Rhodes University, South Africa, qualifying as a chartered accountant before receiving an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He later joined Fidelity Management and Research in Boston, USA where he worked for eight years.

Gray is also the founder of Orbis, an asset manager in Bermuda which he established in 1989. The investment firm has over $21 billion under management. In 2012, Allan Gray established Allan Gray Investment Management Nigeria to take advantage of the fast-growing number of middle and high net worth individuals.

In 2007, Gray endowed his Allan Gray Orbis Foundation with $130 million, the single largest charity gift in Southern Africa at the time. The foundation funds scholarships for poor but promising South African high school students. About 7 percent of Allan Gray Limited’s profit after tax also goes to the Foundation.

Eze --- otohmillar.blogspot

8. Prince Arthur Eze

Net Worth: $5.8 BILLION
Industry: Oil and Gas
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 62
Number of Jobs Created: 1,000

Prince Arthur Eze is the Nigerian oil and gas billionaire and the founder of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, a West African oil exploration company. With at least 36 oil acreages, it is the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa. Eze continues to grow the number of acreages he owns. Two of his oil blocks alone produce over 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Atlas Oranto Petroleum owns equity and working interests in several acreages across the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, and the Republic of Benin.

Known for his shrewd business acumen, Eze acquires acreages with significant value on the cheap, and farms out portions of those oil blocks to international oil companies for substantially higher amounts, when the values of those blocks increase.

Eze, or Ezenukpo as he is fondly called, is also a political kingmaker in his native Anambra State and a major donor to Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Eze often chairs fundraising for political aspirants who he supports, and gave away close to $100 million to political aspirants in the last election cycle. He is a prolific and compulsive donor. As he gets, he gives away. Eze remarked to Ventures Africa that he isn’t taking anything with him when he passes on so he will give away as much as he can in the ad hoc manner he prefers.

gilbert chagoury

9. Gilbert Chagoury

Net Worth: $4.3 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 68
Number of Jobs Created: 6,550

Gilbert, the patriarch of the Chagoury clan and eldest of eight siblings, sits atop the Chagoury Group, a large multifaceted conglomerate with interests in construction, food processing, insurance, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and telecommunications.

The Lebanese-Nigerian industrialist and diplomat was born in Lagos in 1946 to Lebanese parents who migrated to Nigeria in the 1930s. In 1971,he founded Grands Moulins du Bénin Flour Mills, a milling company in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, which became the foundation for his business empire. Today, the Chagoury Group owns five flour milling companies in Nigeria and Republic of Benin which produce over 3,700 metric tonnes of wheat flour a day. Chagoruy also owns the well-known five-star Eko Hotel in Lagos and Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt. But perhaps the crown jewel of the Chagoury Empire is South Energyx, which is constructing the new $6 billion Eko Atlantic metropolis in Lagos on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. This ambitious project is the size of Manhattan and will be home to 250,000 people with another 150,000 people working in this new metropolis. Eko Atlantic is billed as the new financial centre of West Africa and will completely redefine the Lagos skyline. The Chagoury Group also owns Ocean Parade, a series of 14 tower blocks in the exclusive Banana Island of Lagos, Nigeria’s priciest residential community.

10. Nathan Kirsh

Net Worth: $3.8 BILLION
Industry: Real Estate
Country of Citizenship: Swaziland
Age: 87
Number of Jobs Created: 870

South African-born Swazi billionaire Nathan Kirsh is the largest property developer in Swaziland. His Kirsh Holding Group owns a 50-percent stake in Swazi Plaza Properties – the company that owns the largest shopping mall in Swaziland. His business empire extends to the US and the UK.

Kirsh made his fortune after he founded a successful corn milling business in Swaziland. He deftly reinvested his profits in food distribution and real estate. The bulk of his fortune is held in various property and distribution companies. He owns a 29-percent stake in Minerva, a London-based property developer, and a 63-percent stake in Jetro Holdings, which operates over a dozen Jetro Cash and Carry stores and 86 Restaurant Depots in the New York, California and Florida areas. Kirsch is also the largest individual shareholder of Magal Security Systems, a developer and supplier of intruder detection and control systems. His charitable causes are concentrated in Swaziland, where 70 percent of all donations have empowered local women to start and grow businesses.

cletus ibeto

Credit: Stanley Anuforo

11. Cletus M. Ibeto

11. Cletus M. Ibeto

Net Worth: $3.7 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 62
Number of Jobs Created: 4,500

Cletus M Ibeto owns and runs the Ibeto Group, the largest conglomerate in Eastern Nigeria. His interests span automobile spare parts, cement production, energy hospitality, petrochemicals, and real estate. Cletus Ibeto has become a household name in Nigeria as a result of his ongoing rivalry with Aliko Dangote. Ibeto is currently building a cement plant in Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria that will produce 5 million metric tonnes of cement annually. His Ibeto Group is also the largest manufacturer of batteries and automotive spare parts in Nigeria.

Ibeto began his career as an apprentice in a spare parts proprietorship. He quickly mastered the business and became an automotive spare parts dealer, importing lead acid batteries and plastic vehicle accessories. In 1996 he established Ibeto Petrochemicals Industries Ltd, which blends oil lubricants and produces various types of petroleum products for local and international markets. The Company’s 60,000 metric tonne liquid storage facility is one of the largest of its kind in Nigeria. In 2002, Ibeto established Ibeto Cement Company Limited in direct response to the Nigerian Government’s invitation for indigenisation of the cement manufacturing sector. During President Obasanjo’s rule from 1999 to 2007, several of Ibeto’s shipping vessels importing raw materials were seized by the government under dubious circumstances. Ibeto’s businesses nearly crumbled as a result of what many deemed a deliberate witch hunt. Under late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Ibeto bounced back as all actions taken against him were reversed and damages paid.

Ibeto owns several hotels across Nigeria under the Ibeto Hospitality brand and is building a 250-room hotel in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja. Ibeto also established Ibeto Energy to exploit Nigeria’s vast gas reserves. Ibeto continues to scale-up operations to catch up to once arch-rival Aliko Dangote.


12. Christoffel Wiese

Net Worth: $3.6 BILLION
Industry: Retail
Country of Citizenship: South Africa
Age: 73
Number of Jobs Created: 9,107

Africa’s leading retail magnate, 73-year-old Christoffel (Christo) Wiese is the largest individual shareholder of Shoprite, the continent’s largest discount grocery retailer. Shoprite operates 453 grocery stores in South Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa. Shoprite recently bet big on Nigeria and has plans to open 50 stores in the near term, with long-term plans for as many as 700 grocery outlets across the country.

After studying Law at the University of Stellenbosch, Wiese began a job as an executive director at Pep Stores, a discount clothing chain cofounded by his parents. Pep Stores diversified by acquiring a small retail chain, Shoprite. When Wiese became chairman of the company in 1981, he changed the company’s name to Pepkor and made a series of acquisitions including Ackermans, a prominent clothing chain. Wiese holds a 44-percent stake in Pepkor and a 15-percent stake in Shoprite, which he listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). While his Shoprite stake remains his most lucrative asset, he also owns significant stakes in other JSE-listed companies including Invicta Holdings, Mining Group, Pallinghurst Resources, Tradehold Ltd, Naspers, Digicore, and a 35-percent stake in the private equity firm, Brait. Other assets include Trans Hex Group and a private game reserve in the Kalahari.

13. Isabel Dos Santos

Net Worth: $3.5 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Angola
Age: 41
Number of Jobs Created: 3,378

Criticized by many as the beneficiary of nepotism, Isabel Dos Santos marches on as one of the world’s youngest black billionaires and the most powerful woman in Angola. Isabel is the first daughter of Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, from his first marriage.

Isabel Dos Santos made her first fortune at the age of 24 by securing lucrative government contracts. In 1997, she invested in Miami Beach, a trendy restaurant in Luanda, Angola. In 1999, when Angolan state-owned diamond mining company Endiama formed a diamond trading venture with Lev Leviev Group (owned by Uzbek-born Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev) and Omega Diamonds, Trans Africa Investment services (an investment company owned by Isabel and her Russian mother, Tatiana Kukanova) emerged as a major shareholder with a 24.5-percent stake.

Since then, Dos Santos has acquired stakes in numerous companies. She owns 42 percent of Banco BIC Angola, currently the largest private bank in Angola with over 222 local branches, as well as a 25-percent stake in Unitel, the country’s leading mobile operator with over nine million subscribers.  She is reputed to hold significant shares in two Portuguese banks, Banco Espírito Santo and Banco Português de Investimento, as well as a 15-percent stake in media conglomerate, Zon Multimedia.


14. Othman Benjelloun

Net Worth: $3.1 BILLION
Industry: Financial Services
Country of Citizenship: Morocco
Age: 83
Number of Jobs Created: 21,026

Morocco’s richest man, Othman Benjelloun, controls significant assets in banking, finance and insurance through FinanceCom, his holding company. Benjelloun sits at the helm of BMCE Bank, a $5 billion company with over 500 branches in 12 countries including Morocco, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In 1949, Othman Benjelloun’s father, Haj Abbas Benjelloun, co-founded Royale Marocaine d’Assurances (RMA). In 1988, Othman purchased RMA for $300 million and transformed it into RMA Watanya, the Kingdom’s largest insurer. In 1995 he acquired Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) during the country’s privatisation exercise. His private holding company, FinanceCom, manages approximately $15 billion in assets.

At 82 years of age, Othman, an engineer by training, still plans to conquer Africa by building a pan-African financial hub.
Mohammed Mansour

15. Mohammed Mansour

Net Worth: $3 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Egypt
Age: 66
Number of Jobs Created: 24,926

Teacher-turned-businessman Mohammed Mansour only stepped into business after a lecturing stint in the US. After completing his MBA at Auburn University, Mansour began lecturing at his alma mater before returning to Egypt to manage his family’s conglomerate, Mansour Group, along with his brothers Yasseen and Youssef.

Mansour Group was founded in the 1950s by patriarch Loutfy Mansour. The group controls nine of Egypt’s top 500 companies, and its operations include the automotive, banking, consumer goods, media, oil and gas, logistics, machinery, real estate, and telecommunications sectors. The Mansour Group employs about 60,000 people and generated roughly $6 billion in revenues last year. The Mansour Group also owns Metro, Egypt’s largest supermarket chain, as well as an automobile distribution company that has exclusive licenses for General Motors, Chevrolet and Caterpillar vehicles. It also holds the country franchise for McDonald’s, a venture that generated over $200 million in revenues in the past year alone.

Issad Rebrad

16. Issad Rebrab

Net Worth: $3 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Algeria
Age: 70
Number of Jobs Created: 10,500

Algeria’s richest man maintains his position on the list despite a slight dip in his fortunes. Issad Rebrab is the founder and CEO of Cevital Groupe, which has 19 subsidiaries and major interests in agribusiness, food, metallurgy and steel manufacturing.

In 1971 Rebrab, an accountant, acquired a 20-percent strategic stake in metallurgical construction firm, Sotecom. Rebrab followed up with a string of acquisitions in the metallurgy industry and then diversified into other business sectors. In 1998, he founded Cevital-Spa, Algeria’s dominant food processing company which produces 2 million tons of sugar annually. Other assets include dolomite mining firm, Cevital Minerals, Ceviagro, an agriculture produce company, Nolis, a maritime company, and a Hyundai Motors distribution company. Rebrab’s children work for the conglomerate in various capacities. Last year, Cevital generated $5 billion in revenues. It currently employs over 12,500 people.

17. Benedict Peters

Net Worth: $2.7 BILLION
Industry: Oil and Gas
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 48
Number of Jobs Created: 11,000

Benedict Peters is the founder and vice chairman of Aiteo Group. Born to a banker and a homemaker, the 48-year-old Ben Peters grew up in a middle income family as the second of four sons and two daughters. Peters cut his teeth in the early nineties working with Aliko Dangote’s younger brother, Sayyu Dantata, in the oil and gas business, and with Wale Tinubu, Mofe Boyo and Onajite Okoloko at Ocean and Oil  (now Oando). Peters later left to float his own company, Sigmund Cummenicci, which focused on the downstream sector of the oil and gas business.

He invested in tank farms but ran into trouble when his debts far outpaced his earnings and he was forced to restructure his operations. After winning a trading line of $100 million from local banks shortly before the financial crisis to construct a massive tank farm capable of storing 210 million litres of petroleum products, Peters escaped the meltdown that affected his fellow petroleum traders, Sayyu Dantata and Femi Otedola. The current Nigerian government led by President Goodluck Jonathan has been especially good to Peters. Aiteo has grown exponentially and now trades over $11 billion worth of petroleum products. Aiteo recently acquired an 85-percent stake in block OML 29 from Shell for $2.56 billion. OML 29 potentially holds up to 2.2 billion barrels of oil and about 300 million standard cubic feet of gas. Peters is also rapidly diversifying. He has acquired three power generating companies in Nigeria for over $1.7 billion and is set to build a 100,000 barrel refinery in oil-rich Warri in Delta State. Ultra secretive and highly religious, Peters dislikes being photographed. He is assisted in his role as vice chairman in Aiteo Group by his younger brother, Francis Peters.

Egyptian Billionaire Naguib Sawiris

18. Naguib Sawiris

Net Worth: $2.5 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Egypt
Age: 60
Number of Jobs Created: 17,850

Naguib is the eldest son of Egyptian business mogul, Onsi Sawiris, the founder of Egypt’s largest construction company, Orascom Construction and patriarch of the country’s most diversified conglomerate, Orascom Group.

Naguib Sawiris joined Orascom in 1979 when the group was split into separate operating entities. Naguib took control of the telecommunications assets, incorporating Orascom Telecommunications Holding (OTH). In 2005 he founded Weather Investments, later called WIND Telecom, to serve as the holding company of Orascom Telecommunications Holding and Wind Telecommunicazioni SpA, the third largest mobile operator in Italy. Naguib later merged WIND telecom with Russia’s VimpelCom in a $6.5 billion transaction. He also has a large stake in Italian internet service provider, Italiaonline. A recent bid to take over EFG Hermes, a regional investment bank, failed when shareholders refused the offer presented by Naguib and a partner.

Naguib is actively and publicly engaged in Egypt’s political scene. He founded the Free Egyptians Party with a group of intellectuals in 2011 as a direct response to the Egyptian revolution. The Free Egyptians Party pushes a secular, liberal and democratic agenda.

Source: World Economic Forum

19. Patrice Motsepe

Net Worth: $2.5 BILLION
Industry: Mining
Country of Citizenship: South Africa
Age: 52
Number of Jobs Created: 6,851

Motsepe still remains South Africa’s only black billionaire since the fall of apartheid in 1994. He is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, which has interests in ferrous metals, base metals, gold and platinum.

The Soweto-born mining tycoon sits on several company boards, including Harmony Gold, the 12th largest gold mining company in the world, where he serves as non-executive Chairman. Motsepe bought low-producing mine shafts in 1994 on the cheap and quickly harnessed their latent potential by minimising costs and squeezing value out of all areas. He consolidated those mines and acquired other assets of similar value to build African Rainbow Minerals. He is also deputy chairman of Sanlam Limited, a publicly traded South African financial services group. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Swaziland and obtained a law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, specialising in Business Law and Mining. He rose to become the first-ever black partner in the law firm Bowman Gilfillan in 1994. Motsepe deployed his law degree to effective use when he navigated the treacherous mining space during his investment and acquisition phase. In 2003, he acquired Mamelodi Sundowns, a Pretoria-based football club.

Concerned by the gross inequity within the South African economy, Motsepe joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in The Giving Pledge by agreeing to give away half his wealth to charitable causes. He is married to Precious Moloi Motsepe, the head of the Motsepe Family Foundation and executive chairperson of African Fashion International, a body dedicated to promoting African and South African fashion. His sister, Bridgette Radebe is married to one of South Africa’s longest-serving government ministers, Jeff Radebe.

Youssef Mansour

20. Youssef Mansour

Net Worth: $2.3 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Egypt
Age: 69
Number of Jobs Created: 18,875

Youssef Mansour is co-owner of the family business, the Mansour Group, with brothers Mohammed and Yasseen. Yousseff is credited with building Metro, the Mansour Group’s retail chain, into one of the largest in Africa. He is chairman of Al Mansour Holding Company for Financial Investments. Al Mansour Holding Company entered into a distribution agreement with Phillip Morris in 1992 to distribute their tobacco products in Egypt. The company also purchased Seclam Dairy Products’ processing plant shortly after. The company’s products are distributed in over 120,000 retail outlets across Egypt.

Youssef moved to New York to pursue a career in investment banking after receiving an MBA from Auburn University. He returned to Egypt in 1976. Youssef has since held several managerial roles within the group, including CEO of Loutfy Mansour Trading, the Mansour Group’s car dealership business. He was also Chairman of the group, a position he retained till 1992. He is one of the founders of the American Chamber of Commerce, Egypt.

21. Jim Ovia

Description: Net Worth: $2.3 BILLION
Industry: Financial Services
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 60
Number of Jobs Created: 1,450

The Nigerian-born banker built his fortune by founding Zenith Bank Group, one of Nigeria’s largest financial institutions, with market capitalisation of more than $4 billion. He is the bank’s largest individual shareholder. Ovia then moved into Nigeria’s telecommunications sector. In 2007, he acquired three CDMA mobile network operators that had been in operation for up to eight years and merged them to form Visafone, a company with 4.2 million subscribers. In 2010, Jim Ovia stepped down from his position as chief executive of Zenith Bank when Nigeria’s Central Bank promulgated a new banking law stating that no chief executive should serve more than 10 years in that capacity. He recently returned to the bank he founded as chairman.

Through his investment arm, Quantum Group, Ovia is constructing a $1.5-billion petrochemicals plant in oil-rich Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria. When completed, the plant will produce methanol, polypropylene and polyethylene. Jim Ovia is also investing heavily in the real estate sector. His Quantum Luxury Properties is building a five-star, 150-bed Marriott hotel in Lagos. In addition, Ovia owns numerous properties all over Nigeria.

23. Miloud Chaabi

Description: Net Worth: $2.3 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Morocco
Age: 85
Number of Jobs Created: 19,480

The Moroccan businessman, Miloud Chaabi, saw his fortune dip slightly by $200 million from last year. Chaabi started a construction business at the age of 15, building low-cost houses for Morocco’s middle class. By age 30, he diversified into ceramics and then ploughed the profits from the businesses into numerous other Moroccan companies.

Chaabi sits atop YNNA Holding, Morocco’s oldest private conglomerate with interests that span the construction, distribution, food, real estate, and steel production sectors of the economy. His group also owns the Ryad Mogador chain of discount hotels as well as retail giant, Aswak Assalam.

Miloud’s life is a true rags-to-riches story. From humble beginnings as a goat herder, Miloud now invests in interests across all the major sectors of the Moroccan economy.  His humble beginnings led him to establish one of Morocco’s largest foundations, the Miloud Chaabi Foundation, which supports education, cancer research and treatment, and other health related causes

24. Yasseen Mansour

Description: Net Worth: $2 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Egypt
Age: 53
Number of Jobs Created: 16,198

Like Mohammed and Yousseff Mansour, Yasseen, the youngest of the three brothers, is a controlling shareholder in the Mansour Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Egypt. His net worth increased a notch by $100 million this year.

The Mansour Group is the largest seller of GM vehicles. It is also one of the largest distribution companies in the North Africa region, distributing everything from Samsung phones to Michelin car tyres. Yasseen is also the founder and chairman of Palm Hills Development, Egypt’s second-largest real estate developer, and founder of Manfoods – the operator of the McDonald’s franchise in Egypt

25. Mohammed Dewji

Description: Net Worth: $2 BILLION
Industry: Diversified
Country of Citizenship: Tanzania
Age: 39
Number of Jobs Created: 16,800

Mohammed Dewji has seen his net worth rise considerably over the past year as his MeTL group, a conglomerate in 11 countries with interests in trade, FMCG and manufacturing, undergoes significant expansion.

Mohammed Dewji

26. Aziz Akhannouch – Net Worth: $1.7 Billion (Moroccan)

Aziz Akhannouch is the majority shareholder of Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar Moroccan conglomerate with interests in petroleum, gas and chemicals through its publicly traded subsidiaries.


Aziz Akhannouch

27. Allan Gray – $1.6 billion (South African)

Allan Gray is the founder of Cape Town-based investment management firm, Allan Gray Limited which he founded in 1973, after earning his MBA from Harvard and spending eight years at Fidelity in the US. The company manages $34 billion, making it the largest privately owned asset manager in South Africa. He also owns Orbis Investment Management in Bermuda which manages $30 billion.

Allan Gray

28. Theophilus Danjuma – Net Worth: $1.1 Billion (Nigerian)

Theophilus Danjuma


This 75-year-old billionaire is the founder and owner of South Atlantic Petroleum, a Nigerian upstream oil and gas exploration and production company.

29. Femi Otedola – Net Worth: $1 Billion (Nigerian)

Otedola heads petroleum marketing company Forte Oil. Otedola is the controlling shareholder of Forte Oil, with a 78% stake. The company owns gas stations and fuel storage depots and manufactures its own line of engine oils.

Femi Otedola

30. Abdulsamad Rabiu – Net Worth: $1 Billion (Nigerian)

This billionaire runs BUA Group, a conglomerate active in flour milling, pasta manufacturing, sugar refining, and ports and terminals management. Rabiu used to work for his father, legendary Kano-based businessman, Isyaku Rabiu, before striking out on his own in 1988, importing rice, sugar, edible oils as well as steel and iron rods.



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