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Africa’s richest men see their net worth increase by $2.19 billion in 2021

The rise in their collective and individual wealth marks a recovery from a sharp decline last year.



South African billionaire Johann Rupert.

The net worth of Africa’s wealthiest billionaires, Aliko Dangote, Johann Rupert, Nicky Oppenheimer and Nassef Sawiris, has increased by a cumulative $2.19 billion so far this year.

The rise in their wealth marks a recovery from a massive decline last year.

The gains in their net worth can be attributed to a rise in the market value of their companies, as investor buying interest driven by improved earnings pushed share prices to record highs.

Data retrieved from the Bloomberg Billionaire Index revealed that only four African billionaires made it to Bloomberg’s top 500-richest billionaire ranking.

According to the index, the billionaires have a joint wealth valuation of $41.75 billion, as of press time 9:22 AM (UTC), Aug. 24.

The fortune of Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, valued at $18.1 billion, accounts for 43.35 percent of the billionaires’ combined $41.75-billion wealth valuation.

Of the four billionaires, South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert recorded the highest wealth gains ($1.28 billion), followed by fellow South African billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer, who has notched a net-worth gain of $375 million so far this year.

This is how these African billionaires performed:

#1 Johann Rupert

Wealth gains: $1.28 billion

Net worth: $9.3 billion

The net worth of South Africa’s wealthiest man Johann Rupert is valued at $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index

His current net worth is $1.28 billion, higher than the valuation of $8.02 billion at the start of the year. The billion-dollar increase in his fortune follows a double-digit rise in Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA (Richemont), the luxury goods holding that he founded in 1988.

He derives the majority of his wealth from his ownership stake in the Switzerland-based company, which controls brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier.

Aside from the performance of Rupert’s stake in Richemont, the gains in his wealth can also be attributed to his investments in Reinet and Remgro Limited.

#2 Nicky Oppenheimer

Wealth gains: $375 million

Net worth: $7.53 billion

According to Bloomberg estimations, Nicky Oppenheimer, South Africa’s second-wealthiest man and one of Africa’s most prosperous men, has seen his net worth increase by $375 million since the start of the year.

His $7.53-billion net worth is 5.2-percent higher than the $7.15-billion valuation when the year began.

The $375-million wealth gain was spurred by an increase in the market value of his investments in private equity firms.

Oppenheimer maintains private equity investments in Africa, Asia, the United States and Europe through the London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

#3 Aliko Dangote

Wealth gains: $304 million

Net worth: $18.1 billion

Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote has seen his net worth increase by 1.7 percent this year to $18.1 billion as of press time, 8:25 AM (UTC), Aug. 24.

Dangote, the founder of Dangote Industries Limited, the most diversified manufacturing conglomerate in Sub-Saharan Africa, has recorded a $304-million gain in his wealth this year.

The $304-million gain came off a near two-percent rise in the shares of his flagship cement company, Dangote Cement Plc, while his stakes in Dangote Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries also have recorded gains this year.

Dangote derives the bulk of his wealth from his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement.

#4 Nassef Sawiris

Wealth gains: $226 million

Net worth: $6.82 billion

Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris has seen his wealth increase by 3.4 percent so far this year to a valuation of $6.82 billion.

The $226-million increase in his net worth can be linked to a rise in the shares of Adidas on the “Deutsche Börse” stock exchange in Frankfurt.

Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, holds a 3.72-percent stake in the German-based sportswear and sports equipment manufacturer.

Adidas is the largest sportswear and sports equipment manufacturer in Europe. Sawiris’ stake in the behemoth accounts for the bulk of his $6.8- billion fortune.

What’s worth noting

The joint net worth of Dangote, Rupert, Oppenheimer and Sawiris represents 46 percent of the joint wealth gains of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault and Bill Gates so far this year.

While the joint net worth of the four wealthiest billionaires globally has increased by $90.8 billion so far this year, the four richest African billionaires have seen their wealth increase by $2.19 billion.

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Kanye West faces new hurdle in business and personal life as Australian visa denial looms

The potential denial of a visa may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Kanye West.



Kanye West, now formerly known as Ye.

African-American multi-industry creative, Kanye West, who is now formerly known as Ye, may face a new hurdle in his business and personal life as he may be denied entry into Australia.

The African-American rapper-turned-mogul had reportedly planned to meet the family of his new partner, Melbourne native Bianca Censori, but his anti-Semitic comments in October may prevent him from entering the country.

The news of a potential ban was confirmed by Australian Minister for Education Jason Clare, who stated that individuals who have made similar comments have been denied visas in the past and that Ye will have to go through the same process and answer the same questions.

“People like that who’ve applied for visas to get into Australia in the past have been rejected,” Clare said. “I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did.” 

Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dvir Abramovich and opposition leader Peter Dutton have joined in calling for Kanye West to be banned from entering Australia due to his “appalling” comments.

The backlash from Ye’s anti-Semitic remarks (Kanye West) has already had a significant impact on his business ventures and wealth. In October, he lost all of his partnerships through his brand Yeezy with companies such as Adidas and Balenciaga.

The termination of the Adidas partnership, which began in 2013, had a substantial impact on Ye’s net worth. Forbes reported that the termination of the deal led to a decline of more than $1.6 billion, taking Ye’s net worth from $2 billion to $400 million.

The cancellation of the partnership that grew the Yeezy line into a brand that accounted for up to €1.5 billion ($1.47 billion) of Adidas’ total sales over the last decade is expected to cost the German behemoth up to €250 million ($247 million) in earnings.

The aftermath of Ye’s anti-Semitic comments has been negative for his wealth and ranking as one of the richest Black individuals in the US and one of the richest businessmen globally.

The potential denial of a visa to enter Australia may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Ye because of his anti-Semitic comments. 

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East Africa

James Mwangi’s Equity Group to receive $4.1 million for acquisition of Spire Bank

Equity Group is the largest financial services conglomerate in East Africa.



James Mwangi.

Equity Group Holdings, the Kenyan financial services giant led by James Mwangi, is set to receive millions of dollars from Mwalimu Sacco’s acquisition of financially distressed Spire Bank, as the teachers-backed lender agreed to pay Equity Group Ksh510 million ($4.1 million).

The deal is structured as an asset purchase transaction, backed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and will see Equity Group assume control over the assets and liabilities of the troubled bank.

The $4.1-million payment by Mwalimu Sacco to Equity represents the difference between the assets and liabilities of Spire Bank, implying that the bank holds zero value and the teachers have lost millions of dollars after purchasing a majority stake in 2014.

Mwalimu Sacco CEO Kenneth Odhiambo said the key consideration was to stop the bleeding and preserve Sacco’s bottomline for its members.

Equity Group will settle all redundancy costs for the more than 100 employees who will lose their jobs following the deal. The bank’s non-performing loans stand at Ksh2.63 billion ($21.1 million), and Equity’s immediate task will be to step up collections and recoveries.

The process of exiting Spire Bank was not as seamless as the initial acquisition, with Mwalimu Sacco citing the bank’s decline as beginning after the withdrawal of Naushad Merali’s deposits worth Ksh1.7 billion ($13.7 million), which represented one-fifth of the bank’s total deposits. 

The takeover of the troubled Spire Bank may present additional challenges and opportunities for Equity Group, which under the leadership of Kenyan businessman, Mwangi reported profits in excess of $280 million in the first nine months of 2022.

As of today, Equity Group shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange are trading at Ksh44.95 ($0.361) per share, a 0.99 percent decrease from their closing price on Fri., Jan. 27.

This values the company at Ksh170 billion ($1.36 billion) and Mwangi’s 3.38-percent stake at Ksh5.74 billion ($46.1 million).

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s food conglomerate achieves milestone with $195-million profit

Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, own 99.8 percent of BUA Foods.



Abdul Samad Rabiu
Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

BUA Foods Plc, a leading food conglomerate majority owned by Africa’s fourth-richest man Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, has achieved a milestone in its financial performance as it reported record-high earnings at the end of its 2022 fiscal year.

With a profit surge surpassing N90 billion ($195 million), the company’s latest earnings report highlights its impressive growth and financial strength. The Abdul Samad Rabiu-led food conglomerate has reported a record high in its financial performance, with its profit for the year ending Dec. 31, 2022, surging by a staggering 30 percent.

The unaudited financial statements reveal that the group’s earnings rose from N69.77 billion ($151.5 million) in 2021 to N90.4 billion ($196.3 million) at the end of 2022, driven by an increase in revenue from its diverse product portfolio of sugar, pasta, bakery flour, and wheat bran.

The remarkable growth reflects the company’s ability to continuously expand its offerings and maximize profitability in a competitive market.

BUA Foods’ revenue surged from N333.37 billion ($723.8 million) to N417.82 billion ($907.1 million) due to increased sales of non-fortified sugar N79.15 billion ($171.8 million) to N144.29 billion ($313.2 million) and other food items such as sugar molasses, bakery flour, pasta, and wheat bran.

The increase in consumer demand for food items, including stockpiling, resulted in higher prices and a corresponding boost in revenue for the group.

The robust performance led to an increase in retained earnings and shareholder equity from N192.66 billion ($418.26 million) and N200.7 billion ($435.7 million) in 2021 to N237.15 billion ($514.86 million) and N245.21 billion ($532.35 million) in 2022.

The outstanding financial performance is expected to result in a substantial increase in dividend earnings for Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, with their 99.8-percent ownership in the consolidated food conglomerate.

This will be a marked improvement from the N62.9 billion ($151.6 million) that they received in dividends last year.

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