Home » 5 multimillionaires from Ivory Coast you’ve never heard of

5 multimillionaires from Ivory Coast you’ve never heard of

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Jean-Louis Billon

Meet five ultra-wealthy Ivory Coast entrepreneurs who are individually worth $30 million or more. Each person has founded, owns and runs businesses with proven annual revenues of eight figures or more. Their names don’t ring a bell with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but you should probably know them.

Jean Kacou Diagou

Source of wealth: Insurance, Banking

Jean Kacou Diagou, 75, is the founder and chairman of NSIA Group, an African insurance and banking group present today in 12 countries throughout West and Central Africa. Diagou founded NSIA in 1995 by establishing a non-life insurance company. In 1996, he acquired the life and non-life subsidiaries of AGF (Assurances Generales de France) in Ivory Coast. NSIA Group has expanded its presence in Central and West Africa to 12 countries through organic and external growth. It also owns and operates BIAO, Cote d’Ivoire’s third largest bank, which it bought in 2006 and recently rebranded NSIA Bank Cote d’Ivoire. Diagou and his family own 61 percent of the company.

Mathieu Kadio-Morokro

Source of wealth: Oil

Mathieu Kadio-Morokro is the founder and largest individual shareholder of the Petro Ivoire Group, a petroleum products and derivatives distributor, based in Ivory Coast. It is the largest downstream petroleum company in the country and operates gas stations and deals with diesel, unleaded fuel, lubricants and LPG. Morokro owns more than 35 percent of the company.

Pierre Billon & Family

Source of wealth: Agriculture

Pierre Billon is the CEO of the SIFCA group, an $800-million (revenue) integrated agribusiness group in West Africa that his father, Pierre Billion, co-founded in 1964. The Ivory Coast-based group is involved in the production, processing, and distribution of palm oil, cane sugar and natural rubber. SIFCA employs more than 33,000 direct employees in West Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Senegal), as well as procures agricultural produce from more than 110,000 smallholders. He and his family are the controlling shareholders of the company. His elder brother is Jean-Louis Billon, who plans to run for the office of the president in 2025.

Bernard Kone Dossongui

Source of wealth: Banking

Bernard Kone Dossongui is the founder and controlling shareholder of Atlantic Financial Group (AFG) – a financial holding company that owns banks and insurance companies across French-speaking Africa. The company also owns Societe Ciment Cote d’Ivoire (SCCI), a cement plant in Cote d’Ivoire.

Gerard Mangoua

Source of wealth: Pharmaceuticals

Gerard Mangoua is the founder of Ubipharm Group, a regional leader in pharmaceutical and parapharmaceutical distribution. The group is made up of 14 pharmaceutical distribution firms spread across 11 West and Central African countries. It has more than $500 million in revenue.

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