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Ten ultra-wealthy Tunisian tycoons you’ve never heard of

Tunisian businessmen have accumulated significant wealth over the years from key companies central to the local economy.



Tunisian businessman Moncef Sellami.

Tunisian businessmen have accumulated tremendous wealth over the years from key companies central to the local economy, as well as corporate entities actively operating abroad.

Unfortunately, these tycoons did not experience the same hike in their net worth this year as their Moroccan and Algerian counterparts, like Aziz Akhannouch, Othman Benjelloun and Issad Rebrab. The hope for a similar bump in their bank-account balance remains a dream for the years to come.

Recent figures from Forbes revealed that the North African country currently has no billionaires, which is understandable given the size of Tunisia’s economy. Its GDP was only $39 billion in 2020.

Despite the country’s poor representation in terms of individual wealth, local families control some of Tunisia’s most powerful companies. Here are some Tunisian multimillionaires who you’ve probably never heard of, but definitely should know.

1. Moncef El Materi 

The businessman is credited for founding one of Tunisia’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Al Adwya.

After leaving the Tunisian Army in 1973, Moncef El Materi devoted himself to creating several commercial and industrial enterprises. This led to his establishing Al Adwya in 1984 with his brother, Tahar. The brothers are equal shareholders in the company.

Alongside his brother, El Materi has grown the pharmaceutical company into a leader not only in Tunisia, but throughout the Maghreb region. The company specializes in the production of pharmaceutical goods for medical and veterinary use.

2. Ismail Mabrouk

Ismail Mabrouk is the chairman of the board of Saida Group, the largest agri-food group in Tunisia. The group produces biscuits, chocolates and cheeses. He is also the chairman of the board of the Arab International Bank of Tunisia.

Mabrouk was put in charge of growing his father’s business, Mabrouk Group, after his death.

Under his leadership, the group grew into a dominant player in the Tunisian economy in the agribusiness, automotive, mass distribution and finance sectors.

Aside from his oversight role within the group, Mabrouk manages several companies, including the Tunisian agri-food leader Saida Group.

Mabrouk derives his multimillion-dollar net worth from his stake in Mabrouk Group, BIAT and Societe Nouvelle Maison de la Ville de Tunis.

3. Ahmed Abdelkefi

Ahmed Abdelkefi is a Tunisian economist and businessman who founded Tuninvest Finance Group, one of the first companies specializing in capital investment fund management in Tunisia, with a focus on small and medium enterprises in Africa.

Abdelkefi launched his first leasing company in Tunisia in 1984. He founded Tuninvest Finance Group (TFG) 1994. The company maintains active operations in Morocco through Marocinvest and in Algeria through Maghrebinvest.

Outside the Maghreb, TFG operates through subsidiaries like Capital Partners Africinvest Saharan Africa, Fidelity in Ghana and Africa and Central CENAINVEST in other West African countries.

4. Tarek Bouchamaoui

Tarek Bouchamaoui is a Tunisian businessman and football personality.

Aside from his governance role in the Egyptian oil company HBS International, he holds a beneficial ownership stake in several companies and private equity funds, including HBG Holding, a holding company based in Tunisia.

In 2015, following his appointment with the FIFA Executive Committee, Swiss Leaks revealed that Bouchamaoui held more than €43 million ($50.4 million) in an HSBC bank account, Jeune Afrique reported.

5. Rached Horchani

Rached Horchani is the founder of Horchani Group, a Tunisia-based conglomerate with subsidiaries in the agriculture, hotel and real estate industries.

He is also on the board of BH Bank, Tunisie Leasing and Factoring S.A. and Horchani Bio Dattes.

Aside from his leadership role in the companies, Horchani is the second wealthiest investor on the Tunisian Stock Exchange.

Through direct investments and indirect stakes, he owns a beneficial stake in Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie, Amen Bank, Banque de l’habitat, Attijari Bank Tunisia and Wifack International Bank.

The joint market value of his shares in these companies is worth millions of dollars, making him one of the wealthiest businessmen in Tunisia.

6. Tarak Cherif

Tarak Cherif is a Tunisian businessman who founded Alliance Group in 1983. He serves as director and general manager of several companies operating in various sectors.

In 2011, Cherif founded the Confederation of Citizen Enterprises of Tunisia, which he chairs.

He is also the head of Alliance One Holding, a Tunisian business group created in 1947. It serves as a holding for 20 companies operating in the industry, export, agriculture and service sectors.

The group has six industrial units specialized in plastic packaging and the manufacturing of house and car paint, construction materials, chemicals and waterproofing and agricultural goods.

7. Nabil Triki

Nabil Triki is a Tunisian businessman who serves as managing partner and CEO of SPE Capital GP Limited, a spin-off of Swicorp, a leading investment bank in the Middle East and North Africa.

Triki heads a group of 11 companies with activities such as agri-food (Le Moulin), poultry farming (Chahia), furniture, textiles (MATEX) and construction. 

While at Swicorp, he launched a private equity fund managing over $1 billion and oversaw the deployment of more than $900 million in more than 20 transactions across the region.

In 2018,Triki bought a nearly 21-percent stake in Banque Zitouna from El Karama Holding, which he later sold in 2019 through Triki Group.

Triki’s turnover reached MAD243 million ($27 million) in 2014. At the time, it was the 18th largest private company in Tunisia.

8. Yahia Bayahi

Yahia Bayahi is chairman and CEO of Tunisie Profiles Aluminium S.A., a major aluminium producer and the chairman of Societe Tunisienne de Verreries, a hollow-glass manufacturer and Tunisia’s first agro-alimentary industry supplier.

Bayahi derives his multimillion-dollar net worth valuation from his 51.34-percent stake in Tunisie Profiles Aluminium SA and his 71.8-percent stake in Societe Tunisienne de Verreries. 

Aside from his role in these companies, Bayahi is on the board of Arab Tunisian Bank and Societe Magasin General S.A.

9. Walid Sultan Midani

Walid Sultan Midani, a 38-year-old Tunisian businessman, is the founder and CEO of Digital Mania Studio, the first video-game development studio in Tunisia.

In 2004, he co-founded the startup Tunisia Games, which organized the Electronic Sports Tunisian Cup from 2005 to 2009. 

Midani is also a co-founder of the Tunisian accelerator, Boost, and a co-director and co-founder of the Tunisian branch of the world’s largest startup launch program, The Founder Institute.

10. Moncef Sellami

The Tunisian businessman is the founder of One Tech Holding, a company engaged in providing engineering, design, production, installation and training solutions in the ICT industry.

Moncef Sellami foundedOne Tech Holding in 1978 and owns a 25.63-percent stake in the company, deriving his multimillion-dollar wealth valuation from his position in the firm.

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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote gains $100 million in June

The $100-million increase in his net worth in June follows a $300-million decline in May.



Aliko Dangote.

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote saw his net worth rise by $100 million in June despite the mixed performance of his publicly traded companies, as investors reduced their positions in shares that had delivered impressive year-to-date growth due to profit and valuation concerns.

According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Dangote’s net worth increased by $100 million between the start of business on June 1 and the end of business on June 30, rising from $20.3 billion to $20.4 billion.

The $100-million increase in his net worth in June follows a $300-million decline in May, when investors sold down shares in his flagship company Dangote Cement as part of a move to preserve wealth after the cement maker’s stock price surged to an all-time high of N300 ($0.72) per share on May 19.

The increase in his net worth brings his year-to-date wealth gains to $1.32 billion, making him one of the few billionaires in the world who have been able to record impressive gains in their fortunes despite recent stock market declines.

Apart from the multimillion-dollar increase in his net worth in June, the Nigerian billionaire, who recently launched the continent’s largest granulated urea fertilizer complex, received a total dividend of $725.2 million this year from his publicly traded businesses, which is significantly more than the $639.5 million he received last year.

Through his manufacturing conglomerate Dangote Industries Limited, Dangote opened an application nearly four days ago to raise up to N300 billion ($723 million) in medium-term debt funding from Nigerian investors to fund the completion of his $19-billion integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, Dangote Oil Refinery.

The refinery’s pipeline infrastructure, when completed in the first half of 2023, will process 540,000 barrels of Nigerian crude per day in the first phase of operation, increasing to 650,000 barrels per day later.

The refinery will also produce 65 million liters of premium motor spirits (petrol), 15 million liters of diesel, and 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.

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Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris loses $600 million in June after gaining $1.25 billion in May

His fortune is derived from a 38.8-percent stake in Netherlands-based OCI N.V. and a six-percent stake in German sportswear behemoth Adidas.



Egypt's richest man Nassef Sawiris.

After reporting a whopping $1.25-billion increase in his net worth in May, Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris saw his fortune plummet by $600 million in June as the market value of his investment portfolio fell by double digits, mirroring the drop in EU stocks over the month.

Sawiris, a leading Egyptian businessman and one of Africa’s richest billionaires, serves on the boards of Adidas, a leading sportswear manufacturer, and OCI N.V., a global manufacturer and distributor of nitrogen products.

The majority of his fortune is derived from a 38.8-percent stake in Netherlands-based OCI N.V. and a six-percent stake in German sportswear behemoth Adidas, which is valued at $2.11 billion at the time of writing this report.

According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Sawiris had a net worth of $7.45 billion at the start of business on June 1, but his net worth dropped to $6.85 billion at the end of business on June 30 due to a decline in the share prices of OCI N.V. and Adidas.

The $600-million decline in his net worth in June follows a drop in EU equities as global markets face immense pressure, with aggressive monetary tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks fueling fears of an impending economic downturn.

Despite the recent loss, the year-to-date change in Sawiris’ net worth remains positive, with the businessman’s fortune rising by more than $350 million this year, from $6.5 billion at the start of business in January to $6.85 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth year-to-date can be linked to his stake in OCI N.V., which enjoyed an increase in its valuation after the group reported a 246-percent increase in net income in the first quarter of 2022, from $102 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $354 million, driven by a 108-percent rise in revenue above $2.3 billion due to higher volumes and selling prices.

The group revealed that its outlook remains positive until at least 2024, providing strong support for nitrogen prices to remain above historical averages.

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Ghanaian tycoon Daniel McKorley’s McDan Group to donate land to students for soya bean cultivation

McKorley is a well-known businessman and the founder and CEO of the McDan Group.



Ghanaian tycoon Daniel McKorley.

Ghanaian tycoon Daniel McKorley has announced plans to donate three to five acres of land to students for soya bean cultivation as part of the efforts to increase food sufficiency in Ghana, as food prices continue to rise due to supply constraints exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

According to GhanaWeb, the leading business mogul announced the decision at the third edition of the McDanYouthConnect series of events, explaining that the move is part of a concerted effort to improve agriculture and promote food sufficiency in the country. He added that students will be given the opportunity to cultivate one or two products and create value for the nation.

His decision, which was applauded by all dignitaries and persons who attended the event, resulted in the release of 100 acres of land for the block farming project.

McKorley went on to advise students to continue engaging with the “right” people to increase their knowledge base, to network, and to ask for help when trying out something new, as such an attitude in life will allow them to unlock their future potential and grow.

McKorley is a well-known businessman and the founder and CEO of the McDan Group of Companies, an Accra-based transportation and logistics group with three divisions: McDan Shipping, McDan Aviation, and McDan Logistics.

Aside from its core operations in Ghana, the group maintains active operations and an extensive presence in West African countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Equatorial Guinea through its broad interests in shipping, logistics, and aviation.

McDan Group, led by McKorley, opened its first private jet terminal at an international airport in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, earlier this year, with three planes and one helicopter operating under the McDan Aviation brand.

The jet terminal will serve high-end clients seeking to maximize luxury clients and corporate executives seeking a quick and efficient commute for business purposes.

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