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Only four African billionaires gained over $1 billion in 2021; here is how they performed

The year 2021 delivered impressive wealth gains for African billionaires and multimillionaires.

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Natie Kirsh.

The year 2021, although marred by the COVID-19 pandemic just like 2020, delivered impressive wealth gains for African billionaires, and also multimillionaires on the continent.

These impressive gains can be linked to the robust financial performance of these tycoons’ assets and the companies that are directly and indirectly linked to them.

While billionaires like Mohammed Al-Amoudi, who controls a collection of industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Morocco, and Abdul Samad Rabiu the founder and owner of one of Nigeria’s leading cement makers, both recorded a net-worth loss of about $1 billion in 2021, other African billionaires like South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote recorded wealth gains of more than $1 billion for the year.

Research conducted by Billionaires.Africa revealed that four of the 20 Africans with a net worth of over $1 billion recorded a wealth bump of at least $1 billion in 2021.

Here is how these billionaires performed.

#1 Johann Rupert

Net worth: $11.9 billion

Wealth gains in 2021: $3.88 billion

Johann Rupert became the richest man in South Africa in 2021 thanks to a bump in the value of his stake in the Swiss luxury goods holding company, Compagnie Financiere Richemont S.A. (Richemont).

Rupert, who is the chairman of Richemont and Remgro Limited, an investment holding based in South Africa, recorded a staggering net-worth gain of $3.88 billion for the year through his stakes in Remgro and Richemont.

Sustained buying interest in the shares of these companies for the year led to a double-digit surge in their valuation, causing the market value of his positions in the companies to increase.

As a result, his net worth soared from $8.02 billion on Dec. 31, 2020 to $11.9 billion on Dec. 31.

This translates to a $3.88-billion gain for the billionaire in 2021.

#2 Natie Kirsh

Net worth: $8.27 billion

Wealth gains in 2021: $1.81 billion 

Nathan “Natie” Kirsh, a Swazi businessman and one of the richest billionaires of African descent, saw his net worth increase by $1.81 billion in 2021, as investments made through his conglomerate, Kirsh Group, surged in value.

Kirsh holds the majority of his investments through Kirsh Group, a family-owned conglomerate that maintains private equity investments in Africa, Asia, the United States and Europe.

The conglomerate holds a majority 75-percent stake in Jetro Holdings, a leading consumer goods business that controls Jetro Cash & Carry and Restaurant Depot stores across more than 30 states in the United States.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that his net worth in 2021 increased from $6.46 billion on Dec. 31, 2021 to $8.27 billion on Dec. 31.

This translates to a 28.02-percent bump or a gain of $1.81 billion in his net worth.

#3 Strive Masiyiwa

Net worth: $2.6 billion 

Wealth gains in 2021: $1.4 billion

Zimbabwe’s wealthiest man Strive Masiyiwa recorded a net worth gain of $1.4 billion in 2021 thanks to the revaluation of his stakes in Africa’s largest carrier-neutral data center provider, Africa Data Centers, and Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms in Africa.

During the year, the London-based Zimbabwean billionaire also benefitted from a 666.8-percent bump in the share price of his publicly traded telecom company, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

As a result of the upward shift in the valuation of his companies, Masiyiwa recorded a staggering $1.4 billion surge in his net worth in 2021: from $1.2 billion at the start of the year to $2.6 billion.

As of Dec. 22, his 52.85-percent stake in Econet Zimbabwe was valued at ZWL99.7 billion ($309.5 million) thanks to a $269-million value bump during the year.

#4 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.1 billion

Wealth gains in 2021: $1.3 billion 

The richest Black man alive, Aliko Dangote, recorded a net worth gain of $1.3 billion as a result of an increase in the share price of his flagship company, Dangote Cement Plc, and his integrated sugar business, Dangote Sugar Refinery.

The surge in the share price of Dangote Sugar and Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement maker, led to an increase in the market value of his stakes in these companies. The value bump triggered a $1.3-billion increase in his net worth during the year.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that his net worth in 2021 rose from $17.8 billion on Dec. 31, 2020 to $19.1 billion on Dec. 31.

This translates to a 7.3-percent increase, or a gain of $1.3 billion in his net worth.

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Led by Egypt’s richest family, Orascom Construction sees profit drop 43.1 percent in Q1 2022

Nassef Sawiris owns 28.97 percent of the multinational construction group, or 33,825,323 shares.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Despite reporting a double-digit percent increase in profit in 2021 due to improved collections and liquidity management, Orascom Construction reported a profit of $15.3 million at the end of the first six months of 2021.

Orascom Construction is Egypt’s richest family-founded multinational engineering and construction corporation.

The leading engineering and construction behemoth reported a profit of $15.3 million in the first quarter of 2022, down more than 43.1 percent from the $26.9 million in profit reported in the first quarter of 2021, according to recently published financial results.

Despite a 20-percent increase in revenue from $816.6 million to $979.9 million, the group’s earnings power was hampered by a surge in direct costs above $880 million, combined with an increase in operating expenses during the period under review.

Osama Bishai, CEO of Orascom Construction, commented on the financial performance, saying: “We indicated in the previous quarter that we expected to experience challenges associated with the changing global economic environment.”

“As always, we continue to prioritize project controls, cost optimization, supply chain, and collections. Our new awards strategy is also unchanged as we continue to focus on high-quality projects across our geographies in sectors in which we are competitive,” he said.

The group was able to keep its project backlog at $5.5 billion by awarding $617.5 million in new contracts during the first quarter of 2022.

Despite the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, the backlog is consistent with the level achieved a year ago, as it was supported by high-profile infrastructure projects in Egypt denominated in foreign currency, as well as projects in other markets in the Middle East, Africa and the United States.

As part of its commitment to shareholders, the board proposed a $27-million dividend distribution to be paid in the third quarter of 2022. This is the group’s fifth consecutive year of dividend payments.

Orascom Construction is a leading global engineering and construction contractor, with active operations and investments in the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris owns 28.97 percent of the group, or 33,825,323 ordinary shares, while OS Private Trust Company owns 51.8 percent of the Egypt-based contractor for the benefit of the Sawiris family.

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South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, wife join world leaders at 2022 WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland

Motsepe is a member of the WEF Board of Trustees.

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South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. ©Billionaires.Africa

South African billionaire mining mogul Patrice Motsepe and his wife Precious Moloi-Motsepe have been confirmed as two of the 35 South African business representatives who will attend an event at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, tomorrow, which is partially dedicated to promoting South Africa as an attractive investment destination.

The event, “Preparing for Africa’s Growing Global Role,” was developed in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Corp.

The 2022 WEF Annual Meeting, which runs from May 22 to 26, is convening at the most consequential geopolitical and geo-economic moment in the past three decades against the backdrop of a once-in-a-century pandemic, COVID-19, and the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Motsepe and his wife, a renowned medical practitioner, join South African Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor as top representatives who will offer ideas about how to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in Africa.

Other South African business leaders who will attend the WEF Annual Meeting this week include: Leila Fourie, group CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Rene Parker, CEO of RLabs; Nicola Galombik, executive director of Yellowwood; and, Bronwyn Nielsen, founder and CEO of Nielsen Media and Associates.

According to a statement issued by the South African government, the event will also provide an opportunity for the government to share an update on South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan, promote the country’s economic reforms, and advance critical public-private partnerships to support its development goals.

Just last weekend, Motsepe, a member of the WEF Board of Trustees, passed Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to re-emerge as Southern Africa’s richest Black businessman.

According to Forbes, Motsepe is back on top as Southern Africa’s richest Black billionaire, with a net worth of $3.1 billion as of press time on May 21, while Masiyiwa’s net worth has dropped to $2.7 billion.

Motsepe’s net worth has increased from $2.9 billion at the start of the year to $3.1 billion at the time of writing, owing to a 6.1-percent increase in the share price of African Rainbow Minerals, the South African mining and minerals company that he founded in 1997.

In addition to other assignments at this year’s WEF Annual Meeting, the billionaire will also speak on, “Sport as a Unifying Force,” alongside Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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Kenyan businessman John Kimani receives $1.2 million in dividends from agro-allied firm, Kakuzi

Kimani owns a 32.3-percent stake in Kenyan agricultural company.

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Kenyan businessman John Kimani.

Despite a double-digit decline in the profit of Kenya-based agro-allied company Kakuzi in 2021, Kenyan businessman and leading media mogul John Kimani was paid a dividend of Ksh139.3 million ($1.2 million) from his stake in the agricultural firm on Friday.

Kimani, one of the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s wealthiest investors, owns a 32.3-percent stake in Kakuzi, He also controls substantial equity positions in Centum Investments and Nation Media Group.

The $1.2-million dividend, which was paid into Kimani’s bank account on Fri., May 20, following shareholder approval at the group’s annual general meeting, was paid from the Ksh431-million ($3.7-million) payout approved by the company’s board based on its 2021 financial results.

At the end of 2021, Kakuzi’s board of directors proposed paying its shareholders a dividend of Ksh22 ($0.189) per share, a 22-percent increase from the Ksh18 ($0.154) per share paid last year, despite reporting a 48.6-percent drop in earnings from Ksh622.03 million ($5.43 million) in 2020 to Ksh319.74 million ($2.8 million).

The company’s 8.7-percent drop in revenue from Ksh3.61 billion ($31.5 million) to Ksh3.29 billion ($28.7 million) caused the earnings to decline, which did not prevent the company from increasing its dividend payout by 22 percent.

Kakuzi Chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a assured shareholders that strategic plans had been activated to accelerate and enhance returns by diversifying the variety of produce delivered to domestic and global markets in an effort to reward shareholders with an even higher dividend payout in the coming years.

“We are part of a global marketplace and the products we produce often face stiff competition from producers in other countries. We, therefore, embarked on a very significant diversification program several years ago to ensure that Kakuzi is not dependent on any one crop,” Ng’ang’a said.

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