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Africa's richest revealed

Business Maverick

Africa, Business Maverick

Africa’s richest revealed

American magazine Forbes is famous for its Rich Lists, profiling the world’s wealthiest individuals. Now it’s finally wised up to the fact that some Africans have serious bucks too. By REBECCA DAVIS.

This week Forbes brought out its first-ever list of the 40 Richest People in Africa, justifying it as “testament to the growing global importance of the continent”. The magazine explains that the list was worked out by using stock prices and exchange rates as of 2 November 2011.

For privately-held businesses the methodology is slightly vaguer: it “couple(s) estimates of revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies”. The criterion for ‘African’ is that the individuals must currently be citizens of African countries, which excludes wealthy African-born people who have subsequently emigrated.

There are five South Africans in the top ten, but the top spot is taken by Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, with a fortune of $10.1 billion from his company, Dangote Cement, and interests in several other industries. Our own Nicky Oppenheimer is at number two on the back of his $6.5 billion diamond fortune. The next South African down the line is Johann Rupert and his family at number four, with $4.7 billion. Rupert is chief executive of Richemont, the Swiss company that controls brands like Cartier, Montblanc and online shop Net-a-Porter. Christo Wiese is at number eight, with a tidy stash of $2.7 billion, largely from his Shoprite holdings. The number ten spot is taken by Patrice Motsepe, with $2.5 billion. Motsepe is still South Africa’s only black billionaire, but if you’re wondering why he’s not further up the list, it’s because the share price of his mining company – African Rainbow Minerals – has dropped more than 20% since February.

One category of Africans is noticeably absent from the list: women. None currently make the cut. DM

Read more:

  • Africa’s 40 Richest, in Forbes.



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