Home » Fourteen of Africa’s 18 billionaires too poor to make Forbes 400 list

Fourteen of Africa’s 18 billionaires too poor to make Forbes 400 list

by Omokolade Ajayi
Patrice Motsepe

Despite demonstrating a robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and impressive wealth gains that saw their combined net worth surpass $84.9 billion at the end of 2021 — an increase of 15 percent, or $4.7 billion when compared to their combined net worth of $73.8 billion in 2020 — many of Africa’s wealthiest billionaires are having difficulty making the Forbes 400 list in 2022.

With 14 of Africa’s 18 billionaires missing from this exclusive list, it’s critical to understand who these people are and what industry they work in, as well as their potential to join the list in the not-too-distant future.

Despite the fact that it now takes $6 billion to make the Forbes 400 richest list, up from $6.4 billion at the start of the year, African billionaires such as Nigerian telecom mogul Mike Adenuga, Algerian billionaire Issad Rebrab, and Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris rank among the 14 billionaires who are still far short of the $6-billion mark.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, these 14 billionaires are presently ranked in this order.

#1 Mike Adenuga

Net worth: $5.7 billion

Nationality: Nigerian

Mike Adenuga, the founder of Nigerian telecom company Globacom Limited and the majority owner of Nigeria’s pioneer petroleum marketer, Conoil Plc, is now the third-richest man in Nigeria, the seventh richest on the African continent, and the 426th richest person in the world.

His net worth has dropped by $1 billion since the beginning of the year, from $6.7 billion in January to $5.7 billion at the time of writing this report, due to a decline in the value of his stake in Globacom Limited, Nigeria’s third-largest telecom service provider.

#2 Issad Rebrab

Net worth: $5.1 billion

Nationality: Algerian

Issad Rebrab, the founder and CEO of Cevital and Algeria’s richest man, ranks 483rd in the world. The Algerian billionaire’s net worth has increased from $4.2 billion in 2020 to $5.1 billion at the time of writing this report, representing a net worth gain of $900 million.

His $5.1-billion fortune stems from the valuation of Cevital, his well-diversified manufacturing conglomerate, which has increased significantly due to increased capacity and robust earnings growth.

#3 Naguib Sawiris

Net worth: $3.4 billion

Nationality: Egyptian

According to Forbes, Naguib Sawiris, the elder brother of Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, is the second-wealthiest man in Egypt and the 815th richest man in the world, with a fortune of $3.4 billion.

The billionaire amassed his fortune after selling Orascom Telecom to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction in 2011. He is presently a shareholder in Orascom TMT Investments and Ora Developers, a real estate developer.

#4 Patrice Motsepe

Net worth: $2.7 billion

Nationality: South African

With a net worth of $2.7 billion, Motsepe is the richest Black South African and the world’s 1,067th richest man. The majority of his wealth is derived in gross terms from his 40-percent stake in African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), a South African diversified mining and minerals company.

His net worth has dropped by $200 million as a result of the recent decline in the market value of his stake in ARM, a company he founded in 1997, from $2.9 billion to $2.7 billion at the time of writing this report.

#5 Mohammed Mansour

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Nationality: Egyptian

Mohamed Mansour, an Egyptian billionaire businessman and the world’s 1,151st richest man, is the chairman of Mansour Group, a family conglomerate worth more than $6 billion, according to Forbes.

Mansour derives the majority of his $2.5-billion net worth from the company, alongside his brothers Yasseen and Youssef Sawiris, who are also billionaires.

The Egyptian billionaire played a crucial role in the group’s growth, primarily through GM dealerships in Egypt, which he established in 1975.

Mansour Group has since grown into one of the biggest GM distributors worldwide. 

#6 Koos Bekker

Net worth: $2.1 billion

Nationality: South African

Koos Bekker is a South African billionaire businessman and the chairman of Naspers, a leading South African multinational media group.

He was instrumental in the establishment and growth of Prosus, a Naspers subsidiary established as the company’s global Internet assets division under Bekker’s leadership.

The majority of the South African billionaire’s wealth is derived from his holdings of Naspers and Prosus. Since the start of the year, his net worth has decreased from $2.7 billion to $2.1 billion.

#7 Mohamed Al Fayed

Net worth: $1.8 billion

Nationality: Egyptian

Mohamed Fayed, an Egyptian businessman and retail mogul whose primary residence and business interests have been in the United Kingdom since the late 1960s is the world’s 1,504th richest man, according to Forbes, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Fayed amassed a fortune in retail after selling his stakes in the London department store Harrod’s to Qatar in a deal valued at $2.4 billion in 2010. Following the sale of Fulham Football Club in 2013, he received a whopping $300 million from U.S. auto parts billionaire Shahid Khan.

#8 Aziz Akhannouch

Real-time net worth: $1.8 billion

Nationality: Moroccan 

Aziz Akhannouch is a Moroccan businessman and the country’s Prime Minister since September 2021. His fortune is derived from the Akwa Group, a Moroccan conglomerate with oil and gas investments.

The company also has interests in telecommunications, tourism, hotels, and real estate. The Afriquia brand is used by its service stations.

Akhannouch has a net worth of $1.8 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest men and the world’s 1,586th richest man, according to Forbes.

#9 Mohammed Dewji

Net worth: $1.5 billion

Nationality: Tanzanian 

Mohammed Dewji is a Tanzanian billionaire businessman and former politician. He is the owner and CEO of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded in the 1970s by his father.

MeTL Group has active operations in East, Southern, and Central Africa in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages, and edible oils.

Dewji has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion as of press time, making him the world’s 1,784th richest person and the African continent’s youngest billionaire.

#10 Youssef Mansour

Net worth: $1.5 billion

Nationality: Egyptian

Like his younger brothers, Mohamed and Yasseen Mansour, Youssef Mansour, a director in the family-led Mansour Group, is worth more than $1 billion.

With a net worth of $1.5 billion, the Egyptian billionaire businessman who co-owns Mansour Group with his brothers ranks 1,854th in the world.

He is in charge of the consumer goods division, which includes the Metro supermarket chain and the exclusive distribution rights for L’Oreal in Egypt.

#11 Michiel Le Roux

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Nationality: South African

Michiel Le Roux is a South African billionaire businessman and the founder of Capitec Bank, one of Africa’s largest retail banks.

According to Forbes, the billionaire is worth $1.4 billion, making him the world’s 1,941st richest man.

His net worth has dropped by $300 million since the beginning of the year, from $1.7 billion on Jan. to $1.4 billion at the time of writing.

#12 Strive Masiyiwa

Net worth: $1.2 billion

Nationality: Zimbabwean

Zimbabwe’s richest man Strive Masiyiwa presently ranks as the world’s 2,132nd richest man, with a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which he founded in 1998, has grown to become the country’s largest mobile phone company.

He owns slightly more than half of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is part of his larger Econet Group. The company has stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho, as well as investments in African fintech and power distribution firms.

#13 Yasseen Mansour

Net worth: $1.1 billion

Nationality: Egyptian

Yasseen Mansour, Egypt’s sixth-richest man and the 2,294th wealthiest man in the world, owns a stake in the family-owned conglomerate Mansour Group.

Aside from his business interests in Mansour Group, Mansour is the chairman of Palm Hills Development, a leading Egyptian real estate group.

#14 Othman Benjelloun

Net worth: $1.1 billion

Nationality: Moroccan 

According to Forbes, Othman Benjelloun, who is worth $1.1 billion at the time of writing this report, is the world’s 2,363rd richest man and one of Africa’s richest billionaires.

The Moroccan billionaire is best known for co-founding BMCE Bank of Africa, where he currently serves as chairman and CEO.

Based solely on market capitalization, Benjelloun’s stake in the bank was worth $4 billion in 2021.

After purchasing the Mali-based Bank of Africa, his banking firm BMCE Bank now has a presence in at least 12 African countries.

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