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Insight & Analysis - January 14, 2022

African Countries with the Most Billionaires

A look at African countries whose favourable economic landscape has yielded the continent’s wealthiest people. 

Despite the economic recession experienced in Africa, African countries still have a commendable number of billionaires as of 2022. The twenty billionaires in Africa hail from different regions and are worth $82.1 billion together.

Here is a list of the African countries with the highest billionaires.


Egypt, a country in the Northern part of Africa, has six billionaires making it the country with the highest number of billionaires in Africa. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) of $394.28 billion and GDP per capita of  $12,261 indicates why the country’s economy was able to produce the highest number of billionaires.

It is no surprise that the country that ranks as the second as the wealthiest in Africa is home to the second richest man in Africa, Nassef Sawiris and other five notable billionaires.

Petroleum and natural gas exports, tourism, wholesale and retail commerce, construction, and real estate are the mainstays of the Egyptian economy. In recent years, the state’s economy has diversified away from raw material exports, with service-based employment accounting for more than half of the GDP.

However, Egypt may suffer socioeconomic problems due to a huge population living in poverty, unemployment, a shaky healthcare system, and a worldwide downturn.

South Africa

South Africa comes second on the list of the wealthiest African countries, with five billionaires. South Africa is one of the fastest-developing countries, with a highly developed economy, excellent infrastructure, a GDP of over $329.53 billion and a GDP per capita of $13,010.

While the economic hardship has been global, it changed the billionaires’ rankings in South Africa. In 2021, Nicky Oppenheimer was the richest in South Africa but dropped to the second position. Johann Rupert is now ranked the number one richest man in South Africa.

The diversity of the economy has also aided in the increase of the South African billionaires net worth. The country does not rely on one stream of income. Mining, manufacturing, financial services, and tourism serve as the country’s major industries. The country export natural resources and raw materials such as gold, diamonds, platinum, coal, and iron ore.

It is one of the top exporters of gold and platinum. The country is well-known worldwide as a major tourist destination, and it places a high value on tourism as a source of revenue.

On the other hand, political and geopolitical turbulence have hampered its maximum capacity. After experiencing four quarters of negative GDP growth, the country was forced into recession, and progress has slowed, with GDP increasing by only 0.2% in 2019. South 


Nigeria has three billionaires and is home to the richest man in Africa. The country plays a vital role in the Africa economy. This is evident in the exportation of the Dangote Cement to some Africa states by the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote.

The country’s economy has helped the three notable billionaires increased their revenue in 2021. To also improve the economy, the Dangote refinery is underway. This is to help develop the oil sector as the crude oil, finance sector, tourism, and infrastructure has contributed to the country’s gross domestic product.

With a GDP of $514.05 billion and a GDP per capita of $2360, Nigeria is the wealthiest country in Africa. Agriculture accounts for approximately 20% of the country’s GDP

The country has a variety of raw commodities, natural resources, and petroleum, which contributes to the region’s prosperity. These are coal, limestone, zinc, lead, tin, natural gas, niobium, iron ore, etc. The large population has also helped the country become Africa’s largest consumer store, and its technologically savvy citizens have contributed to its rapidly rising IT industry.


Morocco is home to two billionaires. The political stability enjoyed by the country has positively impacted businesses as in less than ten years, the country ranks 53rd from 114th position on the ease of doing business rankings.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is $124 billion, makes it the 5th of the wealthiest countries in Africa. The country had $2948.84 in 2011 as GDP per capita and has been experiencing consistent GDP growth except in 2020. In 2021, the country had a GDP per capita of $3410, with a projection of $3617.25 in 2022. It is also Africa’s second-richest non-oil-producing nation. 

Mining and manufacturing are the mainstays of the country’s economy. Industry accounts for 30% of Morocco’s GDP, agriculture accounts for 15%, and services account for 55%. This is bolstered by the burgeoning tourism industry, with residents embracing guests and the government putting a significant focus on getting visitors to the country’s well-known sites.


Tanzania has one billionaire in the country. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) as of 2021 was $69.92 billion, with a GDP per capita of $1211.77 and a projection of 1383.63 in 2026. The country currently ranks in the 11th position. The economic progress has also impacted the business mogul company “MeTL”.

Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy, accounting for about 25% of the GDP and half of the country’s workforce.

Mining, manufacturing, construction, electricity, natural gas, and water supply are among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, accounting for about 30% of GDP. Gold, coffee, cashew nuts, and cotton are the principal exports.

The country has a favourable business environment as the billionaire also have investments in agriculture, trading, finance, mobile telephony, insurance, real estate, transport and logistics, and food and beverages.

Tanzania’s economy has grown at a reasonably high rate in recent years, with a 5.6% annual growth rate, although this appears to be declining. Even though economic development has slowed and the poverty rate has fallen in recent years, the sheer number of people living in poverty has stayed the same.

Honourable mentions: Algeria, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini with one billionaire each.

READ ALSO: 5 Best African Countries to Invest in 2022 

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