Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote has topped the 2022 list of Africa’s richest persons for the 11th year in a row, Forbes magazine said in a report.
Dangote’s wealth jumped from $12.1 billion last year to an estimated $13.9 billion.
Forbes attributed the growth to a 30% increase in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.
“A surge in housing developments in Nigeria and growth in government infrastructure spending drove higher demand in the first nine months of 2021,” the magazine said.
Two other Nigerian billionaires – Abdulsamad Rabiu and Mike Adenuga – ranked 6th and 7th richest persons on the continent with estimated values of $7 billion and $6.7 billion respectively.
The report added that Africa’s billionaires were richer than they had been in years, despite the global pandemic.
As a group, the continent’s 18 billionaires were worth an estimated $84.9 billion – a 15 per cent increase from twelve months ago and the most since 2014, when a larger number of billionaires–28–were worth a combined $96.5 billion.
On average, the continent’s billionaires were worth $4.7 billion now, worth $3.4 billion in 2014 with soaring stock prices from Nigeria to Zimbabwe lifted the fortunes of these tycoons, as demand for products from cement to luxury goods ticked up.
Jumping into the number two from the list, spot–up from number four last year–was luxury goods magnate, Johann Rupert of South Africa.
More than a 60 per cent surge in the share price of his Compagnie Financiere Richemont–maker of Cartier watches and Montblanc pens–pushed his fortune to $11 billion, up from $7.2 billion a year ago, making him the biggest dollar gainer on the list.
South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to mining firm Anglo American a decade ago, ranked number three, worth an estimated $8.7 billion.
The biggest gainer in percentage terms–up 125 per cent was Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, worth $2.7 billion, up from $1.2 billion last year.
Shares of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which he founded, rose more than 750% in the past year, helping to drive up the size of his fortune.
Nigeria’s Abdulsamad Rabiu, who is $1.5 billion richer after taking yet another of his companies’ public.
In early January 2022, Rabiu listed his sugar and food firm BUA Foods on the Nigerian stock exchange.
He and his son retained a 96% stake in the company, which recently had a market capitalisation of nearly $2.8 billion. (Forbes discounts the values of stakes when the public float is less than 5 per cent).
BUA Cement, in which he and his son had a 96% stake, was listed in January 2020.
According to the report, only two of the 18 billionaires are worth less than in 2021: Koos Bekker of South Africa, who dropped to $2.7 billion from $2.8 billion as the share prices of consumer Internet firms Naspers and Prosus fell more than 20 per cent each.
Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania, whose fortune declined to an estimated $1.5 billion from $1.6 billion a year ago, due to lower multiples for publicly traded competitors.
The 18 billionaires from Africa, who was not new to the ranks, also hailed from seven different countries, South Africa and Egypt each had five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two.