The African Billionaires 2015

The African Billionaires 2015
Aliko Dangote right and Tony Elumelu left

AFRICANGLOBE – There are 29 African billionaires this year, the same number as in 2014. While 2 tycoons – South African mining magnate Desmond Sacco and Moroccan real estate mogul Anas Sefrioui fell off the billionaire rankings this year, Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania makes his debut on the list with a fortune estimated at $1.3 billion. At 39, Dewji is the youngest billionaire in Africa. Dewji’s company, METL Group manufactures textiles and consumer goods and has annual revenues of more than $1.4 billion. Nigerian-born Femi Otedola, 50, rejoins the list of African billionaires after a 5-year hiatus with a $1 billion fortune. He owns  a controlling stake in Forte Oil, a publicly-listed energy distribution company in Nigeria. Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria and Isabel dos Santos of Angola are the only two female billionaires on the continent.

Meet the 29 Africans who are worth $1 billion or more:

Aliko Dangote, $15.7 billion

Nigerian, Cement, Flour, Sugar

Falling stock prices and a recent valuation of the Naira might have dented his fortune, causing him to lose roughly $10 billion since last year, but Aliko Dangote is still the richest man in Africa. His Dangote Group is West Africa’s largest industrial conglomerate and has interests in cement production, flour milling, sugar refining and food and beverages.

Johann Rupert & Family, $7.4 billion

South African, Luxury Goods

Rupert is the chairman of publicly-listed Swiss-based luxury goods outfit Compagnie Financiere Richemont , which owns brands including Cartier , Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc. He also owns stakes in investment holding companies Remgro and Reinet. He also owns two of South Africa’s best-known vineyards, Rupert & Rothschild and L’Ormarins as well as the Franschhoek Motor Museum which houses his personal collection of over 200 antique vehicles.

Nicky Oppenheimer & Family, $6.7 billion

South African, Diamonds

Oppenheimer cashed out of the diamond business in July 2012 when he disposed of his family’s 40% stake in his family’s diamond business, De Beers to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in an all-cash deal that marked the end of the Oppenheimer family’s multi-decade control of the diamond company. His E. Oppenheimer & Son entity controls investment arms Stockdale Street Capital and Tana Africa Capital, a joint venture with Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek. Tana holds minority interests in African food manufacturers Promasidor and Regina Co.

Christoffel Wiese, $6.3 billion

South African, Retail

Wiese, a South African retail mogul, owns a 15% stake in Shoprite Holdings, a chain of low-price supermarkets with a presence across multiple African countries. He also owns a large stake in Pepkor, a private company that owns seven different discount fashion brands.  His other assets include Lanzerac Manor & Winery, a five-star hotel and a significant shareholding in Brait, a private equity firm.

Nassef Sawiris, $6.3 billion

Egyptian, Construction

Sawiris, Egypt’s richest man, is the CEO of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), the country’s most valuable publicly-traded company. He plans to separate OCI’s construction unit from its chemicals and fertilizers business, and list the newly formed Orascom Construction in Egypt and the UAE in the first quarter of 2015. He also sealed a partnership last November with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co. to develop a coal-based power plant in Egypt.

Mike Adenuga, $4 billion

Nigerian, Telecoms and Oil

The reclusive Nigerian billionaire is the founder of Globacom, Nigeria’s second largest mobile phone network which has about 27 million subscribers. He also owns Conoil Producing, an indigenous oil exploration company which holds the rights to some of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil fields. Notoriously private, Adenuga hardly grants Press interviews and travels around in with a retinue of bodyguards.

Mohamed Mansour, $4 billion

Egyptian, Diversified

Along with his two brothers, Yasseen and Youssef (also on FORBES’ billionaires list), Mohamed runs the Mansour Group which owns the world’s largest GM dealership.  The Mansour Group also owns the largest supermarket chain in Egypt, the country’s second largest real estate developer, Palm Hills, and the Philip Morris franchise in Egypt.

Nathan Kirsh, $3.9 billion

Swaziland. Real Estate

Nathan Kirsh, a Swazi national is the founder of Jetro Holdings, a cash and carry wholesaler of perishable and non-perishable food products, household goods, equipment, supplies and related goods for grocery retailers. Kirsch made his first fortune in Swaziland several decades ago when he founded a corn milling business in 1958. He subsequently expanded into wholesale food distribution in apartheid South Africa and commercial property development.

Isabel Dos Santos, $3.1 billion

Angolan, Investments

The oldest daughter of Angola’s president owns substantial stakes in a number of blue-chip Angolan and Portuguese companies such as Angolan mobile phone company Unitel , Angolan bank Banco BIC SA, Portuguese media giant ZON Optimus and Banco BPI. She is believed to hold many of these assets in trust for her father.

Issad Rebrab, $3.1 billion

Algerian, Diversified

Algeria’s richest man owns a controlling stake in Cevital, Algeria’s biggest family-owned conglomerate. Cevital owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world with an annual output of 1.5 million tons. The group also has interests in sugar refining, port terminals, auto distribution, mining and agriculture.

Naguib Sawiris, $3.1 billion

Egyptian, Telecoms

Naguib Sawiris is the CEO of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT). The company owns a 75% stake in Koryolink, North Korea’s only cell network. He is looking to acquire a 53% stake in French media company Euronews Television.

Youssef Mansour, $2.9 billion

Egyptian, Diversified

Youssef Mansour is a part owner of Mansour Group which owns Caterpillar dealerships in 8 African countries and General Motors dealerships in Egypt and Iraq, as well as supermarkets, McDonald’s and Philip Morris distribution.  He maintains a lower profile than his billionaire brothers Mohamed and Yasseen.

Part Two