Aliko Dangote, the visionary founder and chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, a leading conglomerate in Africa, has lost his long-held title as Africa’s richest man.
Forbes, the prestigious business magazine, recently published an updated list of the world’s wealthiest billionaires, revealing that Dangote’s fortune plummeted by a staggering $3.4 billion in a single day due to the recent devaluation of the Nigerian naira against the U.S. dollar.
This sharp drop has pushed him down from his long-standing spot atop Forbes’ list, making way for South African billionaire Johann Rupert, who now claims the throne with an impressive fortune of $12 billion.
For years, Dangote held the title of Africa’s richest man, a position he has held since 2013.
His financial achievements reached an unprecedented milestone in 2014 when his wealth surpassed the $20 billion mark, marking him as the first African entrepreneur to achieve such a remarkable feat.
In the past decade according to Forbes records, Dangote’s net worth has faced significant setbacks. Starting at $25 billion in 2014, his fortune gradually dwindled to $14.2 billion, largely impacted by the series of currency devaluations that have adversely affected Nigerians’ wealth, income, and purchasing power.
The latest blow to his wealth sees his fortune decline by $3.4 billion, settling at $10.8 billion at the time of this report.
This dramatic plunge is a direct consequence of Nigeria’s currency hitting a record low, with the central bank auctioning dollars at a rate nearly 30 percent weaker than the tightly controlled official market.
The official market trading restrictions were lifted on Wednesday, which caused the naira to reach an all-time low of 750 to the dollar, significantly dropping from the previous day’s rate of 477 naira to the dollar.
This devaluation severely impacted Dangote’s assets, including his substantial 86 percent stake in Dangote Cement, his holdings in Dangote Sugar Refinery, and his private interests in Dangote Industries.
Although Forbes estimates Dangote’s fortune at $10.8 billion due to the recent devaluation, Bloomberg estimates present a slightly different picture.
According to Bloomberg, Dangote’s net worth stands at $16.8 billion, making him the wealthiest individual on the African continent. Meanwhile, Johann Rupert’s net worth remains steady at $13.3 billion.
Dangote is not the only Nigerian billionaire on the Forbes list whose wealth has been significantly impacted by the recent devaluation of the naira. Other notable figures include Abdul Samad Rabiu, a billionaire industrialist, and telecom and oil mogul Mike Adenuga.
Rabiu’s net worth took a $2 billion hit, plummeting from $8.2 billion to $6.2 billion, consequently losing his spot as the fourth-richest person in Africa to Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, who presently boasts a net worth of $6.9 billion according to Forbes.