Between 2011 and 2020, the number of countries represented in the ranking Forbes of African billionaires doubled from four to eight:Egypt, l’South Africa, the Nigeria, the Morocco, l’Algeria, l’Angola, the Tanzania and the Zimbabwe. There are a total of 20 billionaires and the two French-speaking African countries represented have only three.
Issad Rebrab, against the tide of his legal setbacks
For the second year in a row, Issad Rebrab remains the 6th fortune of the Continent and the richest personality of French-speaking Africa, with however assets increasing by nearly 19% to 4.4 billion dollars in 2020, against 3.7 billion dollars in 2019.
History will indeed remember that last year was probably the most difficult in the life of the Algerian billionaire. Jailed for more than eight months for tax, banking and customs offenses, he was one of the oligarchs arrested during the post-fall crisis of President Abelaziz Bouteflika. The increase in his fortune suggests that his business has held up better than predicted by some analysts who predicted a meltdown in his holdings. Sentenced on January 1 to 18 fewer imprisonments, six of which were firm, he was released on January 1 for having exceeded the period of firm imprisonment. A week ago, he was in the news, notably with the resumption of Hyundai’s activities in Algeria.
Aziz Akhannouch, irremovable minister and businessman
Morocco’s first fortune, Aziz Akhannouch is the 15th richest personality in Africa and second in French-speaking Africa, with assets estimated at 1.7 billion dollars, down from 2.1 billion dollars in 2019. Minister of Agriculture since October 2007 , Aziz Akhannouch is a technocrat whose career as a businessman has given him several investments in various sectors, that of hydrocarbons. Aged 59, he is the majority shareholder of Akwa Group, a large diversified conglomerate founded by his father in 1932.
Othman Benjelloun, finance tycoon
Othman Benjelloun would be the key man in Moroccan finance. 2nd fortune in the kingdom after having occupied the first rank for several years, the boss of the Groupe Bank of Africa has total assets valued at $ 1.4 billion in 2020, up from $ 1.7 billion last year. His group is indeed a pioneer in the deployment of Moroccan banks on the Continent, with around twenty establishments across the region. Former BMCE Bank of Africa Group, Benjelloun renamed it in September 2019 to strengthen its pan-African dimension. The 87-year-old man is also president of the Professional Group of Moroccan Banks (GPBM).
For the umpteenth consecutive year, the ranking Forbes of Africa’s billionaires is dominated by Nigerian Aliko Dangote whose fortune stands at $ 10.1 billion, followed by the Egyptian Nassef Sawiris ($ 8 billion) and Nigerian Mike Adenuga who took it a step further ($ 7.7 billion). The South African Johann Rupert, who has been thinking of leaving his country for the last year after predicting an economic crisis, closes the top five. Isabel dos Santos – despite its setbacks in Angola and Portugal, as well as the Luanda Leaks scandal – and Nigerian Folorunsho Alakija, remain the only women billionaires in Africa.