Home » Johann Rupert reemerges as Africa’s richest man in latest Forbes ranking

Johann Rupert reemerges as Africa’s richest man in latest Forbes ranking

Dangote's fortune falters: Market slump and currency devaluation shake Forbes Africa's richest list

by Omokolade Ajayi
Johann Rupert

South African billionaire Johann Rupert has regained his position as Africa’s wealthiest individual, surpassing Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, according to Forbes’ latest update — this change comes more than four months after Rupert lost the top spot.

The reshuffling of the rankings follows a series of financial challenges faced by both billionaires, who had been engaged in fierce competition for the title since Forbes revised its richest list due to turbulent currency fluctuations in June.

With the recent update, Rupert, the chairman of the Swiss luxury goods holding group Richemont, leads the pack with a net worth of $10.2 billion. In contrast, Dangote’s net worth has seen a significant decline, dropping by over $4 billion this year, according to Forbes, bringing his current net worth to $9.4 billion.

Dangote’s fortune falters: Market slump and currency devaluation shake Forbes Africa’s richest list

The recent shake-up in Forbes Africa’s richest list is attributed to a double blow for Dangote. Firstly, a decline in the market value of his stake in Dangote Cement, where he holds an 86-percent stake, contributed to the drop in his net worth.

Shares of Dangote Cement experienced a decline from N320 ($0.361) to N313 ($0.353) between the opening and closing of the Nigerian Exchange on Wednesday, pushing the company’s market cap below the N5.5 trillion ($6.2 billion) mark. 

Additionally, the recent devaluation of the Nigerian naira further impacted the value of Dangote’s assets, contributing to the decline in his overall net worth.

For Johann Rupert, despite facing a significant decline in his net worth in recent times, his current $10.2-billion net worth places him at the forefront of the African continent. Furthermore, he now ranks as the 240th richest individual globally.

A tale of two rich lists: Unraveling the disparity in Africa’s wealth rankings

Interestingly, there is a notable discrepancy in wealth assessments between Forbes and Bloomberg. While Forbes positions Rupert as the richest man in Africa, with a net worth of $10.2 billion, Bloomberg’s estimations paint a different picture.

Bloomberg placed Rupert’s net worth at $12.4 billion, positioning him as the second-richest man in Africa, with Dangote leading the pack at $15.1 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The financial landscape continues to evolve, and these fluctuations underscore the dynamic nature of wealth in the African business sector, with both Rupert and Dangote facing challenges that impact their standings on the continent’s richest list.

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