The richest people in Africa are proof that Africa is a continent of opportunity, where hard work and perseverance can lead to success. These people, including three Nigerians, have amassed wealth through a combination of smart investment, innovation and tenacity.
The likes of Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu, and Mike Adenuga, have become symbols of success and creativity in Nigeria. Their successful businesses did not only make them wealthy but also became sources of employment for thousands of people, thus fueling economic growth.
These five African billionaires were chosen from Forbes’ 2023 Africa billionaires list. The ranking named the 19 wealthiest Africans, whose combined net worth is estimated to be $81.5 billion. See them below.
Aliko Dangote: For the 12th year in a row, Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man. The Nigerian industrialist’s net worth fell from $13.9 billion in 2022 to $13.5 billion in 2023. Dangote owns 85% of Dangote Cement, which is publicly listed.
Dangote Cement operates in ten African nations and has an annual capacity of 48.6 million metric tons. He also owns a fertilizer plant in Nigeria, and his $19 billion oil refinery is projected to meet all of Nigeria’s refined goods demand.
Johann Rupert & Family: Johann Rupert held his position as Africa’s second richest man, with a net worth of $10.7 billion, for the second year in a row. Johann’s company is well-known for its brands such as Cartier and Montblanc.
He also controls 7% of the diversified investment firm Remgro and 25% of Reinet, a Luxembourg-based investment holding company.
Nicky Oppenheimer & Family: Nicky Oppenheimer is Africa’s third-richest person and South Africa’s second-richest man. Nicky’s wealth is derived from diamonds as the heir to the DeBeers Diamond Fortune. In 2022, he also saw a considerable drop in his net worth due to the revaluation of his investments in private equity enterprises. South Africa’s net value fell from $8.7 billion in 2022 to $8.4 billion in 2023.
Nicky sold 40% of his family stake in De Beers in 2012 and currently derives most of his wealth from private equity investments in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.
Abdulsamad Rabiu: Abdulsamad Rabiu surpassed Nassef Sawiris to become Africa’s fourth richest person. The net worth of Abdulsamad increased from $7 billion in 2022 to $7.6 billion in 2023. The wealth of Nigeria’s second-richest man is derived from the BUA Group, which specializes in cement production, sugar refining, and real estate. His increased income is linked to a significant expansion in the Nigerian stock exchange market by BUA Foods and BUA Cement PLC.
His BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, BUA Oil Mills Limited, IRS Flour, IRS Pasta, and BUA Rice Limited are all subsidiaries of BUA Foods. BUA Cement PLC is 98.5% owned by Rabiu.
Nassef Sawiris: Nassef Sawiris is the fifth richest person in Africa and the first Egyptian on the list. His net worth fell from $8.6 billion in 2022 to $7.3 billion in 2023. Sawiris’ most valued asset is a nearly 6% interest in Adidas, followed by Lafarge Holcim, the cement manufacturer. He is a businessman and a member of Egypt’s most powerful family.