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Numero Uno! Dangote maintains Africa’s richest man status

Africa’s billionaires are currently richer than they had been in years, despite the global pandemic.

Nigerian billionaire industrialist and business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has retained his position as the richest man in Africa, with a net worth of $12.1 billion, according to the 2022 edition of the Forbes’ Top 10 Africa’s Billionaires List.

Forbes announced this in a post on their verified Twitter account – @Forbes.

Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, and chairman of Glo, Mike Adenuga, also maintained their consistency in the Africa richest top ten as they made the list yet again by occupying 5th and 6th positions respectively.

Mike Adenuga, founder/CEO Globacom

Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, according to the report,  is for the 11th consecutive time occupying the first position of the continent’s richest person, worth an estimated $13.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion in 2021.

This according to the magazine, followed a 30 per cent 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, analysts found.

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 $96.5 billion combined.

On average, the continent’s billionaires were worth $4.7 billion now,  compared to $3.4 billion in 2014 as soaring stock prices from Nigeria to Zimbabwe lifted the fortunes of these tycoons, with demand for products from cement to luxury goods increasing.

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 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 a diamond mining firm, DeBeers before selling it to a 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 per cent in the past year, helping to drive up the size of his fortune.

Another gainer: Nigerian cement tycoon,  Abdulsamad Rabiu, is $1.5 billion richer after taking yet another of his companies’ public.

BUA Founder/Chairman Abdulsamad Rabiu

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 per cent 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 percent stake, was listed in January 2020.

According to the release, 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 were not new to the ranking, also hailed from seven different countries.

South Africa and Egypt each had five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two.

All of the continent’s billionaires were men; the last woman to appear in the ranks, Isabel dos Santos of Angola, fell off the Forbes list in January 2021.

Forbes noted that they list tracked the wealth of African billionaires who resided in Africa or had their primary business there, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire, Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen.

The billionaire London resident, Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen. Strive Masiyiwa, a citizen of Zimbabwe and a London resident, appeared on the list due to his telecom holdings in Africa.

It added that the Net worth were calculated using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Wednesday, January 19. (Vanguard)

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