Who are the top 10 billionaires in Africa? Our list focuses on African billionaires who live in Africa or conduct their primary business there.
We calculated net worth based on stock prices and currency exchange rates. To value privately-held businesses, we begin with estimates of revenues or profits and then apply comparable public company price-to-sale or price-to-earnings ratios.
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. Through a holding company, he owns 85 per cent of Dangote Cement, which is publicly traded. Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tons of cement per year and has operations in ten African countries.
Dangote also has stakes in publicly-traded salt and sugar companies. Since 2016, the construction of the Dangote refinery has been ongoing and when completed, it will be one of the world’s largest oil refineries.
2. Nasser Sawiris: Net worth $8.5b
Nassef is the second richest billionaire in Africa. Nassef Sawiris is a member of Egypt’s most powerful family. Naguib, his brother, is also a billionaire. The Orascom Construction Industries was split into two companies by Sawiris in 2015: OCI and Orascom Construction.
He is the CEO of OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa and stock exchange listing on Euronext Amsterdam.
Orascom Construction, an engineering and construction firm, is listed on the Cairo exchange and the Nasdaq Dubai. He has stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas, and he sits on the Adidas supervisory board.
He graduated from the University of Chicago and gave $24.1 million to the school in 2019 to help Egyptian students and fund an executive education program.
Nassef Sawiris partnered with Wes Edens of Fortress Investment Group to purchase Aston Villa Football Club.
3. Oppenheimer: Net worth $8billion
Oppenheimer is one of the richest top billionaires in Africa. Oppenheimer, the heir to his family’s fortune, sold his 40% stake in diamond firm De Beers to mining conglomerate Anglo American in 2012 for $5.1 billion in cash.
He was the third generation of his family to run DeBeers, and he privatized the company in 2001. Until 2012, the Oppenheimer family held a commanding position in the world’s diamond trade.
Fireblade Aviation was established by Oppenheimer in Johannesburg in 2014, which operates chartered flights with a fleet of three planes and two helicopters.
In South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, he owns at least 720 square miles of conservation land.
4. Johann Rupert: Net worth $7.2billion
Johann Rupert is the leader of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company. Cartier and Montblanc are two of the company’s most well-known brands. It was established in 1998 as a spinoff of Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), which his father Anton founded in the 1940s.
He controls 7% of the diversified investment firm Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, a Luxembourg-based investment holding company.
Rupert has been an outspoken opponent of plans to allow fracking in the Karoo, a region of South Africa where he owns the land.
5. Mike Adenuga: Net worth $6.3billion
Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, amassed his fortune through telecommunications and oil production.
Globacom, his mobile phone network, is Nigeria’s third-largest operator, with 55 million subscribers. Conoil Production, his oil exploration company, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
Adenuga earned an MBA from Pace University in New York while working as a taxi driver to support himself as a student. At the age of 26, he made his first million dollars selling lace and distributing soft drinks.
5. Abdulsamad Rabiu: Net worth $5.5billion
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of the BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate involved in cement manufacturing, sugar refining, and real estate.
Rabiu merged his privately held Obu Cement company with the publicly traded Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which is handled by him, in early January 2020. The combined company, known as BUA Cement Plc, is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Rabiu owns 98.5 per cent of it.
Rabiu, a businessman’s son, inherited land from his father. In 1988, he started his own business importing iron, steel, and chemicals.
7. Issad Rebrab: Net worth $4.8billion
Cevital, Algeria’s largest privately held company, is founded and led by Issad Rebrab. Cevital has one of the world’s largest sugar refineries, with a capacity of 2 million tons per year.
Cevital is home to a number of European companies, including Groupe Brandt, a French home appliance manufacturer, an Italian steel mill, and a German water purification company.
8. Naguib Sawiris: Net worth $3.2billion
Naguib is one of the richest billionaires in Africa. Naguib Sawiris is a member of Egypt’s most powerful family. Nassef, his brother, is also a billionaire. He made a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar deal in 2011.
He is the chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which owns a stake in an Egyptian asset manager and the Italian internet company Italiaonline, among other companies. Sawiris owns 88 per cent of Euronews, a Pan-European pay-TV and video news network, through his Media Globe Holdings.
On the Caribbean island of Grenada, he also built a luxury resort called Silversands.
9. Patrice Motsepe: Net worth $3billion
Patrice Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became the first black African billionaire on the Forbes list in 2008.
In 2016, he founded African Rainbow Capital, a new private equity firm focused on investing in Africa. Motsepe is also a stockholder in Sanlam, a publicly-traded financial services company, and the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns football club.
In 1994, he became the first black partner at Johannesburg law firm Bowman Gilfillan, and he later started a contracting business doing mine scut work.
He purchased low-producing gold mine shafts in 1997 and later turned them profitable.
10. Koos Bekker: Net worth $2.8billion
Koos Bekker is the tenth African billionaire on this list. Koos Bekker is known for the role it played in transforming Naspers, a South African newspaper publisher, into an eCommerce investor and cable TV powerhouse.
In 2001, he led Naspers to invest in the Chinese Internet and media firm Tencent, which proved to be by far the most profitable of his other bets. Naspers put back some of its assets in two publicly traded companies in 2019, the entertainment firm MultiChoice Group and Prosus, which contains the Tencent stake.
It sold a 2% stake in Tencent in March 2018, its first sale, but stated at the time that it would not sell again for three years. Bekker, who stepped down as CEO of Naspers in March 2014, was re-elected chairman in April 2015.