Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote is the sole African billionaire in the top 100 of the Bloomberg Billonaire Index of the wealthiest 500 people in the world. Dangote had a net worth of $16.2 billion as of July 17, 2019.
Jeff Bezos leads the list of wealthy individuals in the world with assets of $124 billion. Aliko Dangote owns nearly 85 percent of the publicly traded Dangote Cement through his holding company. He has been building an oil refinery in Nigeria, which when complete will be one of the largest refineries in the world. In addition to cement, Dangote also has interests in food production and fertilisers.
Bloomberg’s calculation of Dangote’s assets takes into account a fertiliser plant and other closely held assets that resulted in a gain of $6 billion in his fortune compared to earlier calculations. Forbes had earlier estimated his wealth to be around $9.8 billion. Dangote is among the world’s self-made billionaires although his father was a trader in Nigeria.
Among the African billionaires who made it to the list are three South Africans. Johan Rupert ranked 212 with a fortune of $7.45 billion. Rupert is the chairman of the Switzerland-based luxury-goods company Richemont and the South Africa-based Remgro.
Nicky Oppenheimer, the former chairman of UK headquartered diamond miner De Beers and the deputy chairman of Anglo American is the third African on the list with at 232 with a net worth of $7.08 billion. Yet another African on the list is the South Africa-eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) billionaire Natie Kirsh. Kirsh heads the Kirsh group which holds a majority in Jetro Holdings, a New York cash and carry business, and Restaurant Depot. His group also holds equity investments in Australia, eSwatini, Israel, the US, and the UK.
The other African billionaires are the Egyptian Sawiris brothers, children of Egyptian businessman Onsi Sawiris, Nassef Sawiris and Naguib Sawiris . They were ranked 236 with $7 billion and 358 with $5.32 billion respectively. Nassef is the CEO of Orascom Construction and holds board positions in multiple large companies including Lafarge. He also has a stake in Adidas and controls EPL football club Aston Villa. Naguib Sawiris controls global telecom investment company Wind Telecom and is chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding.