This week in African business has been filled with major investments, sharp rises in stock prices, and notable changes in the fortunes of some of the continent’s leading business leaders. From Jan. 15 to 19, we have seen significant changes in wealth and some bold decisions by the continent’s top entrepreneurs, highlighting the active and diverse nature of Africa’s economy.
Femi Otedola, Nigeria’s fourth-richest individual with a net worth of $1.2 billion, has made a substantial investment in Dangote Cement. His involvement has significantly lifted the company’s shares, showcasing his market acumen. This move, which aligns with his strategic diversification efforts, has seen Dangote Cement shares jump over 50 percent on the Nigerian Exchange, significantly increasing the company’s market cap beyond N8.2 trillion ($9.1 billion).
Yasseen Mansour, chairman of Palm Hills Development and one of Egypt’s wealthiest individuals, enjoyed a $5.2-million increase in his net worth due to a 29.7-percent jump in the company’s stock price. This surge further cements Mansour’s status as a key player in Egypt’s real estate sector.
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote saw his net worth increase from $15.5 billion to $17 billion in just 24 hours. This gain was largely attributed to a 68-percent rise in Dangote Cement shares this year, with his stakes in Dangote Sugar and NASCON Allied also contributing significantly to his wealth.
Following its acquisition of Adebayo Ogunlesi’s Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $12.5 billion, BlackRock, Inc. has initiated discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria. This move reflects BlackRock’s interest in Nigeria’s financial markets and policy landscape.
Natie Kirsh, Swazi billionaire and the richest individual in Eswatini, saw his net worth increase by $100 million, rising to $7.58 billion. This wealth surge, mainly from his private investments, reinforces his position among Africa’s wealthiest.
South Africa’s leading digital bank TymeBank, supported by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, announced its first-ever profitable month, marking a significant achievement in the competitive digital banking sector.
Isabel dos Santos, former Africa’s richest woman, is facing 12 charges, including embezzlement and fraud, brought by Angola’s public prosecutor. Dos Santos denies these allegations, claiming political persecution.
African-American billionaire Alex Karp faced a $100-million loss in early 2024, attributed to a decrease in the market value of his Palantir Technologies shares.
Tony Elumelu, a prominent Nigerian businessman, has joined the elite group of Nigerians holding stakes in two companies with a combined market value exceeding N1 trillion. His influence is evident in UBA and Transcorp Hotels’ market successes.
The Khamis family, one of Egypt’s wealthiest, recorded a $12.91-million increase in their stake in Oriental Weavers, driven by a 6.27-percent increase in the company’s shares.
Conoil Plc, led by Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga, is among seven marketers approved for distributing fuel from Aliko Dangote’s $20-billion oil refinery, highlighting the refinery’s growing influence in Nigeria’s energy sector.
South African billionaire Ivan Glasenberg experienced a $389-million decline in his wealth so far in 2024 due to market value drops in his Glencore shares.
Naguib Sawiris, Egypt’s second-richest man, saw his fortune decrease by $201 million, attributed to the market downturn affecting his diverse investments.
Wole Oshin, a prominent figure in Nigeria’s insurance sector, gained nearly $2 million from his stake in Custodian Investment, reflecting the bullish trend on the Nigerian Exchange.
Kiprop Bundotich, founder of Buzeki Enterprises, announced layoffs of 300 employees, a response to soaring fuel prices and challenging business conditions.
This week has been a microcosm of Africa’s dynamic economic environment, reflecting the agility and foresight of its business leaders. The significant investments, stock market rallies, and wealth shifts witnessed this week not only highlight individual successes and challenges but also underscore the broader trends shaping the continent’s economic future. As Africa continues to navigate global financial currents, the actions of these key players offer insights into the evolving strategies and resilience that are driving African business forward.