Home » Meet the 17 Black billionaires in the world in 2021

Meet the 17 Black billionaires in the world in 2021

by Ishioma Emi
Patrice Motsepe

There are 2,755 billionaires in the world today, according to Forbes Magazine. But only 17 are Black.

Of those 17, only two are women.

Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos fell out of both the Forbes and Bloomberg billionaire rankings after her assets in Angola, Portugal and the Netherlands were frozen in the wake of the Luanda Leaks scandal. Nigerian oil baron Folorunsho Alakija also dropped off billionaire rankings, as lower oil prices impacted her net worth.  

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is still the wealthiest Black person in the world. U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey is the world’s richest Black woman, while Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is the world’s youngest Black billionaire. 

These are the 17 Black billionaires in 2021: 

#1 Aliko Dangote

Estimated net worth: $12.3 billion 

Aside from being the wealthiest man in Nigeria and Africa, Aliko Dangote is the wealthiest Black person in the world. 

Dangote derives most of his wealth from his 85-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s largest cement producer. He also also owns stakes in Dangote Sugar Refinery, a leading sugar manufacturer, and the publicly traded salt company NASCON Allied Plc.

He also owns a $12-billion oil refinery, which is currently under construction, as well as a fertilizer refinery in Nigeria that has also yet to commence production.

#2 Mohammed Al-Amoudi

Estimated net worth: $6.94 billion

Al-Amoudi was the richest Black man globally before Nigerian industrialist and cement tycoon Aliko Dangote ousted him in 2013 to claim the richest Black man title. He was born in Ethiopia in 1946 to a Hadhrami father and an Ethiopian mother. The Saudi-Ethiopian tycoon controls a collection of industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, including Sweden’s largest oil refiner Preem, the Svenska Petroleum oil explorer and the Midroc Europe construction and property group.

Al-Amoudi dropped off the Forbes Billionaire List in 2019.

However, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index put his net worth at $6.94 billion.

#3 Mike Adenuga

Estimated net worth: $6.3 billion

Mike Adenuga is a Nigerian billionaire who made his first million in 1979 at age 26, selling lace and soft drinks. He derives the majority of his net worth from the mobile telecom company, Globacom. Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator with a presence in Ghana and Benin. The billionaire also has a majority interest in Conoil Plc, a leading petroleum marketer in Nigeria, and Conoil Producing, an oil exploration company. 

#4 Robert F. Smith 

Estimated net worth: $6 billion

Robert F. Smith is a U.S. businessman and philanthropist who derives the majority of his wealth from Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm founded in 2000 with investments in software companies. The company has more than $50 billion in assets, with annualized returns of 22 percent since its inception.

#5 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Estimated net worth: $4.5 billion

Abdul Samad Rabiu is the founder and chairman of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate focused on manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture. The billionaire derives the majority of his wealth from BUA Cement Plc, a leading cement manufacturer. One of Africa’s most generous philanthropists, he has given tens of millions of dollars to support education and healthcare. 

#6 David Steward

Estimated net worth: $3.7 billion 

David Steward is the founder and chairman of one of the largest African-American-owned businesses, World Wide Technology. His company has grown from a reseller of technology equipment in 1990 into a leading technology solutions provider. The company recorded $13.4 billion in revenue in 2020.

#7 Patrice Motsepe

Estimated net worth: $3.1 billion

Patrice Motsepe is a South African billionaire and president of the Confederation of African Football. The founder of African Rainbow Minerals, he became a billionaire in 2008. Aside from his equity position in the company, he has a stake in Sanlam, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed financial services firm. He is also the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, a South African professional football club.

#8 Oprah Winfrey

Estimated net worth: $2.5 billion

Oprah Winfrey is a U.S. talk show host, TV producer, actress and philanthropist, who is best known for her talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” 

#9 Alexander Karp

Estimated net worth: $2.2 billion

Born to a Jewish father and an African American mother, Alexander Karp is the co-founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, a listed U.S. software company, specializing in big data analytics.

#10 Strive Masiyiwa 

Estimated net worth: $1.8 billion

Strive Masiyiwa is a London-based Zimbabwean billionaire. He is the founder of the African mobile telecom giant Econet Group and Liquid Telecom.

#11 Kanye West 

Estimated net worth: $1.8 billion

Hip hop artist turned fashion mogul Kanye West made the majority of his wealth from his “Yeezy” sneaker brand through a fashion collaboration with the German sportswear company, Adidas. In line with the agreement between Adidas and Yeezy, West receives an annual royalty from the German sportswear giant. His Yeezy brand generated a total of $1.7 billion in sales in 2020. In 2020, West also entered a deal with the U.S. clothing and accessories retailer, Gap Inc., to sell a line of “Yeezy” clothing specially designed for Gap.

#12 Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty

Estimated net worth: $1.7 billion 

Rihanna is a Barbados-born musician and entrepreneur. She is the third hip hop artist to become a billionaire. Rihanna is a 50-percent owner in Fenty Beauty, a fast growing cosmetics company that she launched in 2017 as part of a joint venture with the French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH.

#13 Michael Jordan

Estimated net worth: $1.6 billion

Michael Jordan is a former U.S. professional basketball player and the chairman and principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA team in North Carolina. The bulk of his fortune stems from stakes and royalties in lucrative ventures with corporate partners such as Nike, Hanes and Gatorade. 

#14 Michael Lee Chin

Estimated net worth: $1.5 billion

Michael Lee-Chin is an American-Canadian billionaire and the chairman and CEO of Portland Holdings Inc., a privately held investment company in Ontario, Canada.

He made a fortune investing in financial companies such as National Commercial Bank Jamaica and AIC Limited. The majority of his fortune is derived from his 65-percent stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica.

#15 Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter

Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion

Jay-Z is hip hop’s first billionaire. He founded the entertainment company Rock Nation, and also owns stakes in Armand de Brignac and D’Usse cognac. He recently earned $297 million after selling majority stakes in Tidal, his high-fidelity music streaming platform, to the fintech company, Square. The rapper also sold off a 50-percent stake in the champagne brand Armand de Brignac to LVMH’s Moët Hennessy for $320 million.

#16 Mohammed Ibrahim 

Estimated net worth: $1.1 billion

Mo Ibrahim is a Sudanese-British billionaire businessman. He sold Celtel International to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company for $3.4 billion in 2005. He is worth $1.1 billion.

#17 Tyler Perry

Estimated net worth: $1 billion

Tyler Perry is an actor who made a billion-dollar fortune from his craft. 

Perry owns 100 percent of his creative output, including more than 1,200 TV episodes, 22 feature films and at least two dozen stage plays, as well as a 330-acre studio at the edge of Atlanta’s southern limits. A substantial percentage of his $1 billion fortune is derived from his “Madea” franchise, which has grossed more than $660 million.

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