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Meet the 17 Black billionaires in the world in 2021

There are 2,755 billionaires in the world today. Only 17 are Black.

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South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe.

There are 2,755 billionaires in the world today, according to Forbes Magazine. But only 17 are Black.

Of those 17, only two are women.

Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos fell out of both the Forbes and Bloomberg billionaire rankings after her assets in Angola, Portugal and the Netherlands were frozen in the wake of the Luanda Leaks scandal. Nigerian oil baron Folorunsho Alakija also dropped off billionaire rankings, as lower oil prices impacted her net worth.  

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is still the wealthiest Black person in the world. U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey is the world’s richest Black woman, while Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is the world’s youngest Black billionaire. 

These are the 17 Black billionaires in 2021: 

#1 Aliko Dangote

Estimated net worth: $12.3 billion 

Aside from being the wealthiest man in Nigeria and Africa, Aliko Dangote is the wealthiest Black person in the world. 

Dangote derives most of his wealth from his 85-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s largest cement producer. He also also owns stakes in Dangote Sugar Refinery, a leading sugar manufacturer, and the publicly traded salt company NASCON Allied Plc.

He also owns a $12-billion oil refinery, which is currently under construction, as well as a fertilizer refinery in Nigeria that has also yet to commence production.

#2 Mohammed Al-Amoudi

Estimated net worth: $6.94 billion

Al-Amoudi was the richest Black man globally before Nigerian industrialist and cement tycoon Aliko Dangote ousted him in 2013 to claim the richest Black man title. He was born in Ethiopia in 1946 to a Hadhrami father and an Ethiopian mother. The Saudi-Ethiopian tycoon controls a collection of industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, including Sweden’s largest oil refiner Preem, the Svenska Petroleum oil explorer and the Midroc Europe construction and property group.

Al-Amoudi dropped off the Forbes Billionaire List in 2019.

However, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index put his net worth at $6.94 billion.

#3 Mike Adenuga

Estimated net worth: $6.3 billion

Mike Adenuga is a Nigerian billionaire who made his first million in 1979 at age 26, selling lace and soft drinks. He derives the majority of his net worth from the mobile telecom company, Globacom. Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator with a presence in Ghana and Benin. The billionaire also has a majority interest in Conoil Plc, a leading petroleum marketer in Nigeria, and Conoil Producing, an oil exploration company. 

#4 Robert F. Smith 

Estimated net worth: $6 billion

Robert F. Smith is a U.S. businessman and philanthropist who derives the majority of his wealth from Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm founded in 2000 with investments in software companies. The company has more than $50 billion in assets, with annualized returns of 22 percent since its inception.

#5 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Estimated net worth: $4.5 billion

Abdul Samad Rabiu is the founder and chairman of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate focused on manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture. The billionaire derives the majority of his wealth from BUA Cement Plc, a leading cement manufacturer. One of Africa’s most generous philanthropists, he has given tens of millions of dollars to support education and healthcare. 

#6 David Steward

Estimated net worth: $3.7 billion 

David Steward is the founder and chairman of one of the largest African-American-owned businesses, World Wide Technology. His company has grown from a reseller of technology equipment in 1990 into a leading technology solutions provider. The company recorded $13.4 billion in revenue in 2020.

#7 Patrice Motsepe

Estimated net worth: $3.1 billion

Patrice Motsepe is a South African billionaire and president of the Confederation of African Football. The founder of African Rainbow Minerals, he became a billionaire in 2008. Aside from his equity position in the company, he has a stake in Sanlam, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed financial services firm. He is also the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, a South African professional football club.

#8 Oprah Winfrey

Estimated net worth: $2.5 billion

Oprah Winfrey is a U.S. talk show host, TV producer, actress and philanthropist, who is best known for her talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” 

#9 Alexander Karp

Estimated net worth: $2.2 billion

Born to a Jewish father and an African American mother, Alexander Karp is the co-founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, a listed U.S. software company, specializing in big data analytics.

#10 Strive Masiyiwa 

Estimated net worth: $1.8 billion

Strive Masiyiwa is a London-based Zimbabwean billionaire. He is the founder of the African mobile telecom giant Econet Group and Liquid Telecom.

#11 Kanye West 

Estimated net worth: $1.8 billion

Hip hop artist turned fashion mogul Kanye West made the majority of his wealth from his “Yeezy” sneaker brand through a fashion collaboration with the German sportswear company, Adidas. In line with the agreement between Adidas and Yeezy, West receives an annual royalty from the German sportswear giant. His Yeezy brand generated a total of $1.7 billion in sales in 2020. In 2020, West also entered a deal with the U.S. clothing and accessories retailer, Gap Inc., to sell a line of “Yeezy” clothing specially designed for Gap.

#12 Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty

Estimated net worth: $1.7 billion 

Rihanna is a Barbados-born musician and entrepreneur. She is the third hip hop artist to become a billionaire. Rihanna is a 50-percent owner in Fenty Beauty, a fast growing cosmetics company that she launched in 2017 as part of a joint venture with the French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH.

#13 Michael Jordan

Estimated net worth: $1.6 billion

Michael Jordan is a former U.S. professional basketball player and the chairman and principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA team in North Carolina. The bulk of his fortune stems from stakes and royalties in lucrative ventures with corporate partners such as Nike, Hanes and Gatorade. 

#14 Michael Lee Chin

Estimated net worth: $1.5 billion

Michael Lee-Chin is an American-Canadian billionaire and the chairman and CEO of Portland Holdings Inc., a privately held investment company in Ontario, Canada.

He made a fortune investing in financial companies such as National Commercial Bank Jamaica and AIC Limited. The majority of his fortune is derived from his 65-percent stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica.

#15 Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter

Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion

Jay-Z is hip hop’s first billionaire. He founded the entertainment company Rock Nation, and also owns stakes in Armand de Brignac and D’Usse cognac. He recently earned $297 million after selling majority stakes in Tidal, his high-fidelity music streaming platform, to the fintech company, Square. The rapper also sold off a 50-percent stake in the champagne brand Armand de Brignac to LVMH’s Moët Hennessy for $320 million.

#16 Mohammed Ibrahim 

Estimated net worth: $1.1 billion

Mo Ibrahim is a Sudanese-British billionaire businessman. He sold Celtel International to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company for $3.4 billion in 2005. He is worth $1.1 billion.

#17 Tyler Perry

Estimated net worth: $1 billion

Tyler Perry is an actor who made a billion-dollar fortune from his craft. 

Perry owns 100 percent of his creative output, including more than 1,200 TV episodes, 22 feature films and at least two dozen stage plays, as well as a 330-acre studio at the edge of Atlanta’s southern limits. A substantial percentage of his $1 billion fortune is derived from his “Madea” franchise, which has grossed more than $660 million.

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African-American billionaire Oprah Winfrey files lawsuit against creators of ‘Oprahdemics’ podcast

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions.

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Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, a well-known African-American billionaire and talkshow host, has filed a lawsuit against the creators of the “Oprahdemics” podcast through her company, Harpo Productions, claiming that the program misleads the public into believing she sponsored or approved it.

According to Reuters, Winfrey, the wealthiest Black woman in the United States and one of the world’s richest Black billionaires, stated that she is neither seeking profit nor damages from the creators of “Oprahdemics,” and she is not attempting to halt the podcast.

She demanded that the podcast’s name be changed because its live events dilute Harpo’s “Oprah” and “O” trademarks and that the use of the word capitalizes on the goodwill that she has spent decades building, a move she said could cause irreparable harm to Harpo’s reputation.

Many consider Winfrey, who turned her hit talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which aired for 25 years, into a media and business empire, to be an institution.

Winfrey returned to the small screen in 2020 on Apple TV+ for an interview show about COVID-19 as part of a multiyear deal with the streamer.

Since the start of the year, her net worth has declined from $2.6 billion to $2.5 billion at the time of writing this report, resulting in a total loss of $100 million for the leading businesswoman.

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions, which has worked on films like “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma.”

She also has a 25.5-percent stake in the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel that she launched in 2011, and a seven-percent stake in Weight Watchers, a global company that provides weight loss and maintenance services, which is presently worth $492 million.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.

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Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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