July 25, 2021

Exclusive Forbes: Who are the 20 billionaires in Africa in 2021?

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Sources : GettyImages

In Africa – as elsewhere in the world – the richest weathered the pandemic well. The average fortune of the continent’s 18 billionaires is around $ 4.1 billion, up 12% from a year ago, in part thanks to the surge in the Nigerian stock market. For the tenth year in a row, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote is the continent’s richest person, with a fortune of $ 12.1 billion, up $ 2 billion from last year’s list, thanks to a hike of around 30% of Dangote Cement’s share price, by far its most valuable asset. The second richest is Egyptian Nassef Sawiris, whose main asset is an almost 6% stake in sportswear maker Adidas. Row three: Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who inherited a stake in diamond firm De Beers and ran the company until 2012, when he sold the 40% stake from his family in De Beers to mining giant Anglo American for $ 5.1 billion.

This year, the main beneficiary is another Nigerian cement tycoon, Abdulsamad Rabiu. Remarkably, the stock value of his company BUA Cement PLC, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in January 2020, has doubled in the last year. Abdulsamad Rabiu’s fortune thus increased by 77% to reach 5.5 billion dollars. One thing to note: Abdulsamad Rabiu and his son together own around 97% of the company. The Nigerian Stock Exchange requires that 20% or more of a company’s shares go public, or that the IPO shares are worth at least 20 billion naira – about $ 50 million – a paltry sum, to be sure. A spokesperson for the Nigerian Stock Exchange told Forbes that BUA Cement fulfilled the second requirement. (Forbes discounts the value of participations when the public free float of a company is less than 5%).

While some got richer in the billions, two of Africa’s 2020 richest list fell below the billion dollar mark. In fact, Africa’s only two billionaire women have both disappeared from the list. Forbes calculates that the fortune of Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija, who owns an oil exploration company, has fallen below $ 1 billion due to falling oil prices. And Isabel dos Santos, who has been Africa’s richest woman since 2013, has been overthrown by a series of court decisions freezing her assets in Angola and Portugal. In January 2020, the Attorney General of Angola accused Isabel dos Santos of embezzlement and money laundering. Angolan court said actions taken by Isabel dos Santos, her husband Sindika Dokolo (who died in October 2020, in a scuba diving accident, according to some sources) and another associate caused losses to the Angolan government. of at least $ 1.14 billion. Forbes indicated that the frozen assets of Isabel dos Santos were at zero. Via a spokesperson, Isabel dos Santos declined to comment.

Africa’s 18 billionaires come from seven different countries. South Africa and Egypt each have five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two. In total, their fortunes are worth $ 73.8 billion, slightly more than the $ 73.4 billion of the 20 billionaires on Africa’s richest list last year. See the full list of African billionaires below.


Our lists follow the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or exercise their main activity there, thus excluding billionaire of Sudanese origin Mo Ibrahim and Mohamed Al-Fayed, Egyptian citizen. Strive Masiyiwa, a citizen of Zimbabwe and resident of London, is on the list due to his holdings in telecommunications in Africa.

We calculated net worth using stock prices and exchange rates from the close of business on Friday January 8, 2021. To value private companies, we start with estimates of income or profits and apply them. price / sales or price / profit ratios in effect for similar public enterprises. Some members of the list get richer or poorer in the weeks – or days – following the measurement date.

Ranking: Africa’s billionaires


Last name

Net worth


Origin of wealth

#1 Aliko Dangote $ 12.1 billion 63 cement, sugar
#2 Nassef Sawiris $ 8.5 billion 60 construction, investments
#3 Nicky Oppenheimer 8 billion dollars 75 diamonds
#4 Johann Rupert $ 7.2 billion 70 luxury products
#5 Mike Adenuga $ 6.3 billion 67 telecoms, petroleum
#6 Abdulsamad Rabiu $ 5.5 billion 60 cement, sugar
#7 Issad Rebrab $ 4.8 billion 77 food
#8 Naguib Sawiris $ 3.2 billion 66 telecoms
#9 Patrice Motsepe $ 3 billion 58 mining
#10 Chose Bekker $ 2.8 billion 68 media, investments
#11 Mohamed Mansour $ 2.5 billion 73 divers
#12 Aziz Akhannouch $ 2 billion 60 petroleum, various
#13 Mohammed Dewji $ 1.6 billion 45 divers
#14 Youssef Mansour $ 1.5 billion 75 divers
#15 Othman Benjelloun $ 1.3 billion 88 Bank
#16 Michiel Le Roux $ 1.2 billion 71 bank
#16 Strive Masiyiwa $ 1.2 billion 59 telecoms
#18 Yasseen Mansour $ 1.1 billion 59 divers

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Kerry A. Dolan

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