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Here Are 10 of The Wealthiest Tycoons in Kenya Who You Most Likely Don’t Know

Kenya is part of an elite group of five African countries accounting for over half the continent’s private wealth held by individuals.

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One of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, Kenya has a GDP of $99 billion and is home to more than 53.7 million people, of whom 330 are multimillionaires. Meanwhile, a total of 8,300 people hold the high-net-worth-individual status, according to a recent report by AfrAsia Bank.

The seventh-largest economy in Africa, Kenya ranks among the top 30 countries on the continent for living standards and economic wealth of individuals, with a GDP per capita of $1,838, based on data from the World Bank. This is a step below Angola’s $1,895 and Nigeria’s $2,097.

Kenya is also part of an elite group of five African countries that account for more than 50 percent of the continent’s total private wealth held by individuals. Private wealth in Kenya was estimated at $90 billion in 2020, making it the fifth-largest country on the continent in this regard.

Here are 10 of Kenya’s wealthiest businessmen, according to research by Billionaires.Africa.

#1 Manu Chandaria
Source: Manufacturing and Real Estate 

Manu Chandaria is a member of Comcraft Group, a billion-dollar enterprise that manufactures steel, plastic and aluminium products. The company has a presence in more than 40 countries. His business interests are extensive and span the Kenyan economy. Besides the wealth he derives from his ownership stake in Comcraft, Chandria holds a significant fraction of his wealth in real estate investments.
#2 Bhimji Depar Shah
Source: Manufacturing

Bhimji Depar Shah is a Kenyan businessman, industrialist and entrepreneur. He founded Bidco Industries Limited in 1970 as a garments manufacturing business. Since that time, the Kenyan enterprise has grown into a manufacturing conglomerate with operations in 13 African countries. Recently, it has evolved into a leading soap, detergent and baking powder manufacturer, with an annual gross revenue in excess of $300 million and a portfolio of more than 40 brands. Owing to his success as a businessman, Shah was named the wealthiest person in Kenya and the 31st wealthiest person in Africa, with a net worth of $700 million in 2015. He replaced his son, Vimal Shah, in the position after Forbes Magazine reevaluated Bidco’s ownership structure.
#3 Samuel Kamau Macharia
Source: Media

Samuel Kamau Macharia is the founder of Royal Media Services (RMS), the largest private radio and TV network in East Africa and Kenya’s most successful broadcasting house, valued at $500 million. His media company runs the Citizen TV channel and 14 FM radio stations, with a presence in six countries in East Africa — Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia — where it broadcasts by transmitter and over the Internet. RMS is one of the few media houses in Sub-Saharan Africa to acquire a Ksh300-million ($3.5 million) helicopter for news coverage.
#4 Atul Shah
Source: Retail

Atul Shah is the managing director and CEO of Nakumatt Holdings Limited, the parent company of Nakumatt Supermarkets, the largest privately owned supermarket chain in the African Great Lakes Region. With more than 50 stores and annual sales of $450 million, the company operates through its subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. In 2013, Shah valued shareholder equity in the retail chain at $400 million. It plans to expand its operations to Burundi and South Sudan in the next two to three years.
#5 Peter Munga
Source: Financial Services

Peter Munga is a Kenyan multimillionaire businessman and the immediate past group chair of Equity Bank Group, a company that he founded in 1984 as Equity Building Society. Equity Bank Group has grown into one of the largest bank holdings on the African continent by numbers of customers, with more than 15 million. The multimillionaire derives a substantial percentage of his wealth from his ownership stake in Britam Holdings and Equity Bank Group. He is also a non-executive director in Britam Holdings Plc, a leading diversified financial services group with a presence in seven African countries, and HF Group Plc, a Kenyan mortgage finance provider.
#6 James Mwangi
Source: Financial Services

James Mwangi is a Kenyan accountant, banker, businessman and entrepreneur. He is the group managing director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc. He is the executive chairman of Equity Group Foundation, a Kenya-based entity formed to bolster corporate social responsibility and enhance socio-economic prosperity in the region. Together with his wife, Mwangi holds stakes in Britam Holdings and Equity Bank Group worth more than $65 million.
#7 Kimani Rugendo
Source: Consumer Goods

Kimani Rugendo, a Kenyan multimillionaire who turned his water business into a multi-billion-shilling empire, is one of the country’s richest businessmen. Thanks to his flagship company Kevian Kenya, he has built a fortune leveraging opportunities in the consumer goods industry through the sale of packaged water and juice products. Since the company’s founding, it has transformed itself into a whole fruit juice company, with two plants launching powerful brands like Pick ‘N’ Peel and Afia, which have gone on to dominate not only the Kenyan market, but the greater East and Central African regions.
#8 Adil Popat
Source: Conglomerate

Adil Popat is one of the most successful car dealers in Kenya through his Simba Corporation, an empire that includes auto dealerships, luxury hotels and engineering and financial services. The multimillionaire also owns the popular Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel in Nairobi. He is the group executive chairman of Simba Corporation.
#9 Suleiman Said Shahbal
Source: Investment Banking, Financial Services and Energy

Suleiman Said Shahbal is an investment banker, who has concluded deals across the globe in excess of $1 billion. The leading investor, who has more than 25 years of experience in the banking sector, recently concluded a deal that will set him on course to earn millions of dollars after the French multinational Rubis Energie receives approval to buy out shares in Gulf Energy Holdings. Shahbal was responsible for setting up Gulf Energy, Kenya’s fourth-largest energy company, with branches in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and South Africa. His stake in Gulf Energy is held indirectly through Monte Carlo Investments Limited, which he wholly owns. Shahbal is also the mastermind of Kenya’s first Islamic bank, Gulf African Bank, which set the trend for a new industry in the country. It is currently the 14th largest bank in Kenya.
#10 Francis Koome Njogu
Source: Energy

Francis Koome Njogu is the CEO of Gulf Energy, a Nairobi-based special purpose vehicle owning part of the oil marketing assets and businesses of Gulf Energy Holdings. Just like Shahbal, Njogu is on course to pocket millions from the sale of shares in Gulf Energy Holdings to Rubis Energie.

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Billionaires.Africa Ranking: The 20 Richest Investors On the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX)

The top 20 investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have amassed staggering wealth through equity stakes in their own and other companies.

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#1 Aliko Dangote
Equity stake: $8.29 billion
Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, holds both direct and indirect stakes in Dangote Cement Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Nascon Allied Plc and Jaiz Bank.
The total market value of his stakes is $8.29 billion (N3.46 trillion).
#2 Abdul Samad Rabiu
Equity stake: $3.41 billion
Abdul Samad Rabiu, who founded BUA Group in 1988, owns 92 percent of his flagship company, BUA Cement Plc. His stake in the company is now valued at $3.41 billion (N1.42 trillion).
#3 Isiaku Rabiu
Equity stake: $360.56 million
Father to Nigerian billionaire industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu, who is the number-two investor featured on this list, Isiaku Rabiu holds a direct stake of 2,072,085,309 ordinary shares in Nigeria’s second-largest cement manufacturer, BUA Cement Plc. His stake is valued at $360.56 million (N150.23 billion).
#4 Victor Odili
Equity stake: $322.05 million 
Victor Odili is a Nigerian shipping mogul and multimillionaire. He holds a substantial stake of 3.96 percent (806,886,900 ordinary shares) in Nigeria’s leading telecom company, MTN Nigeria. His equity stake in the telecom giant is valued at $322.05 million (N134.19 billion)
#5 Jim Ovia
Equity stake: $296.25 million 
Jim Ovia, the founder of Nigeria’s top tier-1 bank, Zenith Bank Plc, holds 5,072,104,311 ordinary shares in Zenith through both direct and indirect holdings.
His stake in the multinational financial service provider is valued at $296.25 million (N123.44 billion).
#6 Shravin Bharti Mittal
Equity stake: $203.75 million 
Shravin Bharti Mittal, the son of Sunil Bharti Mittal, who founded Bharti Airtel, the parent company of Airtel Africa, holds an indirect stake of 127,147,531 ordinary shares in the pan-African telecom company.
His indirect stake in Airtel Africa is worth $203.75 million (N84.90 billion), putting him in the sixth position among the top 20 investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
#7 John Coumantaros
Equity stake: $188.37 million
John Coumantaros is a Greek businessman and the chairman of Nigeria’s food and agro-allied company Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.
The multimillionaire, who inherited 79 percent of the total issued shares of Flour Mills from his father George Coumantaros, has been in charge of running the business since his father passed away in 2016.
His direct equity stake of 2,597,314,890 ordinary shares in Flour Mills is valued at $188.37 million (N78.49 billion).
#8 Douraid Zaghouani
Equity stake: $136.26 million
Douraid Zaghouani is a non-executive director in Dangote Cement Plc. The renowned civil engineer, who is also a senior executive at Dangote Industries Limited, holds an indirect stake of 243,540,000 ordinary shares in the cement behemoth.
His stake in the company is valued at $136.26 million (N56.78 billion), putting him in the eighth spot on the list.
#9 Pascal Dozie
Equity stake: $135.87 million 
Pascal Dozie is a Nigerian entrepreneur and businessman who founded Diamond Bank Plc. The multimillionaire businessman holds an indirect stake in MTN Nigeria Plc, amounting to 340,409,900 ordinary shares.
His stake in MTN is valued at $135.87 million (N56.61 billion).
#10 Sani Bello
Equity stake: $105.08 million
Sani Bello, the founder of Amni International Petroleum Development Co., an oil exploration company with a 50-percent interest in the Okoro Setu Field, ranks number ten on the list.
His indirect stake in MTN Nigeria Plc amounts to 265,092,150 ordinary shares and is valued at $105.08 million (N44.09 billion)
#11 Austin Avuru
Company: Seplat Petroleum Plc
Equity stake: $102.38 million
#12 Babatunde Folawiyo
Company: MTN Nigeria Plc
Equity stake: $87.33 million
#13 Gbenga Oyebode
Company: MTN Nigeria Plc, Okomu Oil Plc
Equity stake: $83.71 million
#14 Viswanathan Shankar
Company: Dangote Cement Plc
Equity stake: $71.93 million
#15 Ahmad Dasuki
Company: MTN Nigeria Plc
Equity stake: $65.89 million
#16 A.B.C. Orjiako
Company: Seplat Petroleum Plc
Equity stake: $64.43 million
#17 Tony Elumelu
Company: United Bank for Africa, Transcorp Plc
Equity stake: $44.42 million
#18 Abdulwasiu Sowami
Company: Ardova Plc
Equity stake: $36.11 million
#19 Herbert Wigwe
Company: Access Bank Plc
Equity stake: $31.77 million
#20 Wole Oshin
Company: Custodian Investment Plc
Equity stake: $22.98 million

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From South Africa to Algeria, These Men Are Africa’s Richest Football Club Owners

These mega-rich businessmen have divested their wealth into professional sports teams.

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From Daring to Diligent to Dangerous: The Many Colorful Faces of Russian and Eurasian Business in Africa. Part II.

Part II of our gallery of Russian and Eurasian businessmen who are pursuing opportunities in Africa.

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