Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in the continent, produces 44 million metric tons of cement annually. As you may have guessed, Aliko Dangote is the wealthiest African and tops among the 100 universally, and yes, he founded the company and chairs it. Not only does he stop at that, he also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies. He hails from Lagos Nigeria and credits his wealth from the manufacture of cement, sugar, salt and flour, saying it is all self-made. Having studied Bachelor of Arts and Science at Al-Azhar University this 61-year-old billionaire’s net worth accumulates to $12.6 as of July 2018.
This 73-year-old passionate conservationist owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, one of the largest private game reserves in South Africa where he lives. In 2001, he sold his 40% stakes in DeBeers (diamond firm) to Anglo American (a mining group) for $5.1 billion. In cash! He was the third generation to run DeBeers, as heir of the family fortune but made it private in 2001. Notwithstanding, as a family they had occupied a big and controlling chunk in the world’s diamond trade. Apparently, Anglo American, a company his grandfather founded in 1917 is now 1% stake-owned by the diamond-mining heir Nicky Oppenheimer. Real-time net worth as of July 2018 is pegged at $7.7 billion.
The thing this 68-year-old billionaire regrets is not having bought Gucci when he had the chance to at just $175 million. Married, with 3 kids, owning part of Saracens English rugby team and their own Anthonij Rupert Wines, with a net worth of $6.6 billion, Rupert is the chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont (a Swiss luxury goods firm) best known for brands as Cartier and Montblanc. He owns 7% stake in diversified investment firm Remgro (which he chairs) and 25% of Reinet (an investment holding company).
University of Chicago graduate, he donated $20 million in 2015 to the school to help fund scholarships for Egyptian students, all in his father’s name. 57-year-old Nassef Sawiris hails from Egypt’s wealthiest family with his father Onsi and Brother Naguib being billionaires as well. He split Orascom Construction Industries into two – OCI and Orascom Construction. He runs OCI, which is one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers with plants in Texas and Iowa, trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange and a company that Bill Gates is a shareholder with about 7% stakes. His net worth is a whopping $6.9 billion.
He ranks second richest in Nigeria, with a net worth of $4.4 billion, after first making his first million at just 26 years from selling lace and distributing soft drinks. The 65-year-old’s source of wealth comes from his telecom and oil company. Globacom, his mobile phone network is the second largest operator in Nigeria (37 million users) and with his outfit in oil exploration, Conoil Producing, operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta. With an MBA from Pace University in New York, he worked hard as a taxi driver to support himself through university.
Issad is an Algerian billionaire businessman and CEO of Cevital, a privately held company that has been buying European companies in distress, and holds one of the world’s largest sugar refineries. His plans are to build a steel mill in Brazil to provide train tracks as to improve transportation logistics when it comes to sugar, corn and soy flour exports. All his five children work at Cevital. The 74-year-old Algerian billionaire’s net worth is $3.8 billion.
Jacobus Petrus “Koos” Bekkerwell transformed Naspers, a South African newspaper publisher, into cable TV and an e-commerce investor. His shot to international fame after betting $32 million on Tencent, a Chinese internet and media firm. Having been the CEO of this company since 1997 to 2014, and later as chairman in 2015, he oversaw the rise in capitalization of Naspers from $600 million to $45 billion. During this time, he was compensated in terms of stock option grants that had accumulated, since he drew no salary, bonus or benefits. Today Naspers owns 34% of Tencent, the fifth largest company in the world. The 65-year-old $2.6 netted billionaire sold more than 70% of his Naspers shares during the summer of 2015.
8.Isabel dos Santos
Isabel dos Santos, also known as ‘The Princess’ in Angola is the former presidents, José Eduardo dos Santos, eldest daughter. While president, her father made her head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm but was later removed from the post after Angola’s new president. She purchased shares in Portuguese companies as telecom and cable TV firm. She is a 45-year-old independent Angolan businesswoman and private investor who has built her wealth on investments. Her net-worth is an estimated $2.4 billion.
The 70-year-old billionaire worked as a busboy in a pizza parlour so as to pay for his college in North Carolina State University. He’s the Chairman of Mansour Group, which is a $6 billion conglomerate and second largest company in Egypt as per revenue founded by his father, and has exclusive distribution rights for Caterpillar equipment. He established General Motors dealership in Egypt making it one of GM’s biggest distributors in the world. Coming from a family of billionaires, he is netted at $2.7 billion.
The South African billionaire mining businessman was the first African to sign Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge, promising to give at least half his fortune to charity. The 56-year-old is the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals which is a private equity firm interested in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum and focussed on investing in Africa. He is the president and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. To add to this, in 1994 he bought a low producing gold mine shafts and tuned them profitable.
Author: Megan Wanjiru