Dangote named Africa’s richest for seventh year

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Aliko Dangote [Photo Credit: Guardian Nigeria]

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited, has been adjudged the richest man in Africa by Forbes.

Mr. Dangote, ranked Africa’s richest with a net worth that Forbes pegged at $12.2 billion, is being so declared for the seventh year running.

The Nigerian billionaire’s net worth recorded an increase of about $100 million from last year.

Similarly, Forbes noted that Bill Gates maintained his position as the richest man in the world with a net worth of $86 billion, while Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos were second and third consecutively with a net worth of $75.6 billion and $72.8 billion.

“Dangote is looking beyond cement – his most valuable asset – and has been investing in a fertilizer production company and a large oil refinery. Dangote Fertilizer is expected to start operations in the second quarter this year,” Forbes said in its report.

Placed second on the list of African richest people is diamond mining heir, Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, with a net worth of $7.7 billion, up $700 million from last year.

While there are eight South Africans on the list, making it the African country with the most billionaires, Nigeria has three.

Earlier, Mr. Dangote had been named the only African selected among Bloomberg’s world 50 best persons in the year 2017.

Although names of notable Nigerians were dropped from the billionaires’ lists, Globacom chairman, Mike Adenuga, with a net worth of $5.3 billion was adjudged the 5th richest man in Africa and Folorunsho Alakija, whose estimated $1.6 billion fortune lies in oil exploration firm was adjudged as the 15th richest person in Africa.

In 2017, South Africa and Egypt tied with six billionaires each on the list.

But boosting the South African ranks this year, is Michiel Le Roux, the founder and former chairman of Johannesburg-listed Capitec Bank Holdings, whose stock has climbed more than 50 per cent in the past year, making Le Roux a new billionaire worth $1.2 billion.

South African mining tycoon, Desmond Sacco, chairman of listed Assore Group, returns to the list following a stock price surge of some 60 per cent in the past 12 months.

Mr. Sacco last appeared as a billionaire on Africa’s richest list in 2012 with a $1.4 billion fortune.

In December 2017, the share price of retailer Steinhoff International plunged after the company divulged accounting irregularities. The development pushed the net worth of Steinhoff’s then-chairman Christoffel Wiese below $1 billion on December 7. Mr. Wiese would later resign as chairman in December.

But the company in early January said it would restate its financial results as far back as 2015 and the share price rebounded enough to put Mr. Wiese back on the list.

According to Forbes’ estimation, his net worth on January 5 was put at $1.1 billion, down substantially from $5.5 billion a year ago.

Telecom magnate Strive Masiyiwa placed Zimbabwe on the list for the first time. Mr. Masiyiwa, who chairs the Econet Group whose shares have surged in value over the past year, owns more than half of the company.

The entrepreneur also has a majority stake in fibre optic firm Liquid Telecom, which raised $700 million in a bond offering in July 2017. According to Forbes estimates, Mr. Masiyiwa’s net worth is $1.7 billion.


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