There are not many people in Africa who succeed to make the ends meet and also climb up on the list of the global billionaires given the challenging economic conditions on the continent. However, there are a few individuals who have managed to beat odds and made their fortune to become the continent’s leading billionaires.
This is the list of the top 20 richest people in Africa (2020 data) including their net worth, source of wealth and their nationalities.
1 Aliko Dangote (Nigeria) – $10.1 billion
Mr. Dangote, 62 is Africa’s richest man. He is the founder and chairman of Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer. His holding company owns about 85% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement which produces 45.6 million metric tons annually and operating in 10 countries across the continent. Mr. Dangote also owns stake in food-manufacturing companies producing items like sugar, salt and flour. The Dangote Refinery, which is expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries once complete has been under construction for three years.
2 Nassef Sawiris (Egypt) – $8 billion
Mr. Sawiris, 58 descends from Egypt’s wealthiest family with his brother Naguib also a billionaire. In 2015, Sawiris split Orascom Construction Industries Limited into two: OCI and Orascom Construction. His OCI is one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer produces with two plants in the United States and trading on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. Orascom Construction is an engineering and building firm also trading on Cairo exchange and Nasdaq Dubai. Other holdings to Mr. Sawiris include stakes in Adidas where he sits on company’s supervisory board and in cement giant Lafarge Holcim.
3 Mike Adenuga (Nigeria) – $7.7 billion
Adenuga, 66, is Africa’s third-richest man and the second in Nigeria behind Aliko Dangote. His wealth mostly comes from telecom and oil production with his mobile phone network, Globacom as the third-largest operator in Nigeria with over 43 million subscribers. His oil exploration company, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta. Adenuga supported himself to get an MBA at Pace University in New York while working as a taxi driver and he made his first million at the age of 26 selling lace and soft drinks.
4 Nicky Oppenheimer (South Africa) – $7.7 billion
Oppenheimer, 74 is an heir to his family fortune who sold his stake of about 40% in diamond firm DeBeers to mining group Anglo American in 2012 making $5.1 billion in cash. Oppenheimer was the third generation of his family to run DeBeers which he took private in 2001. Before selling it out in 2012, the Oppenheimer family had occupied a controlling spot in the world’s diamond trade for 85 years. After selling his stake in DeBeers, Oppenheimer started Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg in 2014 with a fleet of three planes and two helicopters now running chattered flights. The old Billionaire also owns at least 720 square miles of conservation land in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
5 Johann Rupert (South Africa) – $6.5 billion
Mr. Rupert, 69 is the chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods firm best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc. He also owns a 7% stake in Remgro, a diversified investment firm which he chairs and 25% of Reinet, an investment holding company from Luxembourg. Rupert also owns part of the Saracens English rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, which was named after his late brother.
6 Issad Rebrab & family (Algeria) – $4.4 billion
Mr. Rebrab, 76 is the founder and CEO of Algeria’s biggest privately-owned firm, Cevital. The company owns one the world’s sugar refineries producing about 2 million tons of sugar per year. Cevital also owns other companies in Europe including Groupe Brandt, a home appliances maker in France, a still mill in Italy and a water purification company in Germany.
7 Mohamed Mansour (Egypt) – $3.3 billion
Mr. Mansour, 71 is the overseer of the family conglomerate Mansour Group founded by his deceased father Loutfy in 1952 with 60,000 employees currently. In 1975, Mansour established General Motors dealerships in Egypt before becoming of the biggest distributors of GM’s worldwide. Mansour Group also own exclusive distribution rights of Caterpillar in Egypt and 7 other countries in Africa. Between 2006 and d 2009, Mansour served as Minister OF Transportation in Egypt in Hosni Mubarak’s government. His two brothers, Yasseen and Youssef, who share ownership in the family group, are also billionaires while his son Loutfy leads a private equity arm, Man Capital.
8 Abdulsamad Rabiu (Nigeria) – $3.1 billion
Rabiu, 59 is the founder of Nigerian Conglomerate BUA Group which is active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate. Rabiu owns 98.5% of the group which trades on Nigerian stock exchange after merging his privately-owned Obu Cement company and Cement Co. a listed firm from northern Nigeria which he controlled. Rabiu started business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals after inheriting land from his father.
9 Naguib Sawiris (Egypt) – $3 billion
Mr. Naguib, 65 a brother to fellow billionaire Nassef Sawiris is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. He built his fortune in telecom after selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion dollar transaction. He is chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which has stakes in a major asset manager in Egypt and an Italian internet company, among others. La Mancha, a family holding has stakes in Evolution Mining, Endeavour Mining and Golden Star Resources which operate gold mines in Africa and Australia. Mr. Sawiris, who has developed a luxury resort in Grenada called Silversands is also the majority owner in Euronews.
10 Patrice Motsepe (South Africa) – $2.6 billion
Mr. Motsepe, 57 was the first black African on the Forbes list in 2008 after becoming a billionaire and is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. His private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital was launched in 2016 and focuses on investing in Africa. Mr. Motsepe, who is the owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has also got a stake in Sanlam, a listed financial services firm. He became the first black partner at Bowman Gilfillan, a law firm in Johannesburg before starting a contracting business doing mine scut work.