Home » Meet seven African billionaires absent from Forbes’ 2023 billionaires list

Meet seven African billionaires absent from Forbes’ 2023 billionaires list

by Omokolade Ajayi
Mo Ibrahim

Forbes recently published its 2023 Africa’s Billionaires list, which provided a mixed bag of results. While the list saw a rise in the number of African billionaires, climbing from 18 to 19, which reflects the growth of wealth on the continent, there was a notable setback in their collective net worth.

According to Forbes, the total wealth of these billionaires in 2022 suffered a significant blow, plummeting from $84.9 billion in 2021 to $81.5 billion, due to the decline in global equity values.

Notably, the annual list only included billionaires who are currently residing in Africa, leaving out prominent businessmen like Sudanese-British billionaire Mo Ibrahim, Swazi billionaire Natie Kirsh, and Egyptian-British billionaire Mohammed Al Fayed, whose primary residence and business operations are outside of Africa.

With the addition of these seven African billionaires, who were left off the Forbes 2023 Billionaires list, the total number of African billionaires stands at 26.

The addition of their wealth raises the total wealth of African billionaires to $108.67 billion

According to research conducted by Billionaires.Africa, these seven African billionaires rank among the wealthiest on the continent. Here is how they stack up based on their net worth.

#1 Patrick Soon-Shiong

Net worth: $8.81 billion

Nationality: Chinese, South African, American

Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Chinese-South African transplant surgeon, bioscientist, and biopharma billionaire, is the 241st richest person in the world with a net worth of $8.81 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He developed the cancer treatment Abraxane and founded pharmaceutical companies APP Pharmaceuticals and Abraxis BioScience, which he sold for a combined $7.5 billion.

Soon-Shiong now holds a 76-percent stake in late-stage immunotherapy firm ImmunityBio, from which he derives $1.6 billion.

#2 Natie Kirsh 

Net worth: $7.54 billion

Nationality: Emaswati

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Swazi billionaire Nathan “Natie” Kirsh is the 301st richest man in the world, with a fortune of $7.54 billion at the time of writing.

The majority of Kirsh’s fortune stems from his ownership of Kirsh Group, a closely held conglomerate that owns a majority stake in the food supply company Jetro Holdings.

His net worth has risen by $88 million since the start of the year, from $7.45 billion to $7.54 billion at the time of writing.

#3 Mohammed Al Amoudi

Net worth: $5.62 billion

Nationality: Saudi, Ethiopian

Mohammed Al Amoudi, Ethiopia’s richest man, is worth $5.62 billion, ranking him 450th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He derives the majority of his wealth from his stakes in Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, Midroc Gold, Ethiopia’s largest miner, and interest in Okote Gold.

Al-Amoudi’s most valuable industrial assets, Preem, Midroc Gold, and Okote Gold, are worth $1.09 billion, $1.13 billion, and $993 million, respectively, at the time of writing. His holdings in Svenska and Midroc are now valued at $772 million and $229 million, respectively.

#4 Mohamed Al Fayed 

Net worth: $2 billion

Nationality: British, Egyptian

Egyptian-born billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed whose primary residence and business interests have been in the United Kingdom since the late 1960s, amassed a fortune in retail after selling his stakes in the London department store Harrod’s to Qatar in a $2.4 billion deal in 2010.

Since the beginning of the year, the Egyptian billionaire’s net worth has dropped from $1.8 billion to $2 billion at the time of writing.

#5 Mo Ibrahim

Net worth: $1.2 billion

Nationality: British, Sudanese

Mohammed Ibrahim (Mo Ibrahim) holds the distinction of being both a Black British billionaire and the wealthiest Sudanese businessman thanks to his $1.2-billion net worth.

In 1998, Ibrahim founded Celtel International, one of the first mobile phone companies to serve Africa and the Middle East. In 2005, he sold the company for more than $3 billion to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company.

#6 Samih Sawiris 

Net worth: $1 billion

Nationality: Montenegrin, Egyptian

Samih Sawiris, brother to prominent Egyptian billionaires Naguib and Nassef Sawiris, derives the majority of his fortune from his family’s investments in OCI N.V., a global producer and distributor of nitrogen and methanol products, and Orascom Development, which builds and operates resorts in Egypt, Montenegro, and Switzerland.

#7 Tope Awotona

Net worth: $1 billion

Nationality: American, Nigerian

Tope Awotona, CEO of Calendly, joined the list of African billionaires in 2022, with his majority stake in the scheduling software company worth at least $1.4 billion.

Calendly’s valuation reached $3 billion after raising $350 million in funding from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital in 2021. Awotona is now the 18th Black billionaire and one of two Black tech billionaires in the United States, alongside David Steward of Worldwide Technology.

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