Year in, year out, Africans have stood, defied the odds and came out successful in whatever ventures they found themselves in while some have been greatly rewarded by being the richest billionaires of the continent.
Of these Africans, there have been fair representatives from major countries on the continent, with Egypt, South Africa & Nigeria taking the bigger share of the billionaire cake. Perhaps it is because their economies give room and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit more than anything or that these individuals are simply dogged, resolute and determined. Either way, their works speak.
In this post, we list the top richest African billions, their origin of wealth, and net worth.
Richest Men in Africa & Their Net Worth (2021)
Below are the 20 richest men in Africa & their net worth (2020), according to Forbes:
1. Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote (Nigerian), Africa’s richest man, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in Africa. He owns nearly 85% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company. Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tons annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa.
Dangote is Africa’s richest billionaire with a net worth of $10.3B. His origin of wealth is cement, sugar, and flour.
2. Mike Adenuga
Mike Adenuga (Nigerian), who is the second richest man in Nigeria and the second richest billionaire in Africa built his fortune in telecom and oil production. He owns Globacom, the third-largest telecommunication operator in Nigeria, with 43 million subscribers.
Mike Adenuga’s oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Adenuga is the second richest billionaire in Africa with a net worth of $9.2B. His origin of wealth is telecommunication and oil.
3. Nicky Oppenheimer & Family
South African, Nicky Oppenheimer is the third richest billionaire in Africa. He is the heir to his family’s fortune and sold his 40% stake in diamond firm DeeBeers to mining group, Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012.
His family, for 85 years, occupied a controlling spot in the world’s diamond trade until 2012 before he started Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg in 2014.
Oppenheimer owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the largest private game reserve in South Africa.
Nicky Oppenheimer is the third richest billionaire in Africa with a net worth of $7.3B. His origin of wealth is diamond.
4. Nassef Sawiris
Nassef Sawiris (Egypt) is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Naguib is also a billionaire. Sawiris runs OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa; it trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange.
His holdings include stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas; he sits on the supervisory board of Adidas.
Nassef Sawiris is the fourth richest billionaire in Africa with a net worth of $6.3B. His origin of wealth is construction and chemicals.
5. Johann Rupert
Johann Rupert (South African) is the chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont. The company is best known for its brands, Cartier and Montblanc.
He owns a 7% stake in diversified investment firm Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, an investment holding co. based in Luxembourg.
He also owns part of the Saracens English rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his deceased brother.
Johann Rupert is the fifth richest billionaire in Africa with a net worth of $5.3B. His origin of wealth is luxury goods.
6. Issad Rebrab
Issad Rebrab (Algerian) is the founder and CEO of Cevital, Algeria’s biggest privately-held company. Cevital owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world, with the capacity to produce 2 million tons a year.
Cevital also owns European companies, including French home appliances maker Groupe Brandt, an Italian steel mill and a German water purification company.
Issad Rebrab is the sixth richest billionaire in Africa with a net worth of $3.7B.
7. Naguib Sawiris
Naguib Sawiris (Egyptian) is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Nassef is also a billionaire. He built a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction.
Naguib is the chairman of Orascom Telecom Media & Technology–renamed Orascom Investment Holding to reflect investments in other sectors.
Naguib Sawiris is the 7th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $2.9B.
8. Koos Bekker
Koos Bekker (South African) is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an e-commerce investor & cable TV powerhouse. He led Naspers to invest in Chinese Internet and media firm Tencent in 2001 — by far the most profitable of the bets he made on companies elsewhere.
Naspers has a 31% stake in Tencent, and Bekker serves as a non-executive director at the Chinese company.
His Babylonstoren estate, nearly 600 acres in South Africa’s Western Cape region, features architecture dating back to 1690, a farm, orchard and vineyard and more.
Koos Bekker is the 8th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $2.3B. His origin of wealth is media and investments.
8. Isabel dos Santos
Isabel dos Santos (Angolan) is the richest woman in Africa and the oldest daughter of Angola’s longtime former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in fall 2017.
Her father made her head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, in June 2016, but Angola’s new president removed her from that role in November 2017.
While Isabel’s father was president, she ended up with stakes in Angolan companies including banks and a telecom firm. She owns shares of Portuguese companies, including telecom and cable TV firm Nos SGPS.
Isabel dos Santos is also the 8th richest individual in Africa with a net worth of $2.3B. Her origin of wealth is investments.
8. Mohamed Mansour
Mohamed Mansour (Egyptian) oversees family conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (D.1976) in 1952 and has 60,000 employees.
Mansour established General Motors dealerships in Egypt in 1975, later becoming one of GM’s biggest distributors worldwide. Mansour Group also has exclusive distribution rights for Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and seven other African countries.
Mohammed Mansour jointly sits as the 8th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $2.3B.
8. Strive Masiyiwa
Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwean) overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998.
He owns just over 50% of the publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group.
Masiyiwa also owns just over half of private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa.
His other assets include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho and investments in FINTECH and power distribution firms in Africa.
Strive Masiyiwa is also the 8th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $2.3B. His origin of wealth is telecommunication.
8. Patrice Motsepe
Patrice Motsepe (South African), the founder and Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became a billionaire in 2008. Motsepe is the first black African on Forbes list.
In 2016, he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa. Motsepe also has a stake in Sanlam, a listed financial services firm, and is the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.
In 1994, he became the first black partner at law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg, and then started a contracting business doing mine scut work.
Patrice Motsepe is also the 8th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $2.3B. His origin of wealth is mining.
13. Aziz Akhannouch & Family
Aziz Akhannouch (Morrocan) is the majority owner of Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar conglomerate founded by his father and a partner, Ahmed Wakrim, in 1932.
It has interests in petroleum, gas, and chemicals through publicly-traded Afriquia Gaz and Maghreb Oxygene.
Akhannouch is Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and the president of a royalist political party.
Aziz Akhannouch is the 13th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $2.1B. His origin of wealth is petroleum and diversified.
14. Mohammed Dewji
Mohammed Dewji (Tanzanian) is the CEO of METL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s. METL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa.
METL operates in at least six African countries and has ambitions to expand to several more.
Dewji, Tanzania’s only billionaire, signed the Giving Pledge in 2016, promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
Mohammed Dewji is the 14th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $1.9B. His origin of wealth is diversified.
15. Othman Benjelloun
Othman Benjelloun (Moroccan) is CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa, which has a presence in more than 20 African countries.
His father was a shareholder in RMA Watanya, a Moroccan insurance company; Benjelloun built it into a leading insurer.
Through his holding company FinanceCom, he has a stake in the Moroccan arm of French telecom firm Orange.
Othman Benjelloun is the 15th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $1.7B. His origin of wealth is banking and insurance.
16. Abdulsamad Rabiu
Abdulsamad Rabiu (Nigerian) is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining, and real estate.
In December 2018, Rabiu merged his privately-owned Kalambaina Cement company with listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled.
His BUA Group also owns Obu Cement, which expanded its production with a new line in 2018.
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the 16th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $1.6B. His origin of wealth is cement and sugar.
17. Yasseen Mansour
Yasseen Mansour (Egyptian) is a shareholder in a family-owned conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d.1976) in 1952.
Mansour Group is the exclusive distributor of GM vehicles and Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and several other countries.
His brothers Mohamed and Youssef are also billionaires and part owners of Mansour Group.
He’s chairman of Palm Hills Developments, one of Egypt’s biggest real estate developers.
Yasseen Mansour is the 17th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $1.5B. His origin of wealth is diversified.
18. Youssef Mansour
Youssef Mansour is chairman of family-owned conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (d.1976) in 1952.
He oversees the consumer goods division, which includes supermarket chain Metro, and sole distribution rights for L’Oreal in Egypt. Younger brothers Mohamed and Yasseen are also billionaires and part owners of Mansour Group.
Youssef Mansour is the 18th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $1.2B. His origin of wealth is diversified.
19. Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunsho Alakija (Nigerian) is the vice-chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset.
Alakija’s first company was a fashion label whose customers included the wife of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida.
The Nigerian government awarded Alakija’s company an oil prospecting license in 1993, which was later converted to an oil mining lease.
The Agbami field has been operating since 2008; Famfa Oil says it will likely operate through 2024.
Folorunso Alakija is the second richest woman in Africa and the 19th richest in Africa with a net worth of $1.1B. Her wealth of origin is diversified.
19. Michiel Le Roux
Michiel Le Roux of South Africa founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns about an 11% stake. The bank, which trades on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, targets South Africa’s emerging middle class.
He served as chairman of the board of Capitec from 2007 to 2016 and has continued on as a board member.
Le Roux previously ran Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town’s hinterland.
Michiel Le Roux holds the 19th spot with Folorunso as the 19th richest man in Africa with a net worth of $1.1B. His origin of wealth is banking.