Out of the 20 wealthiest individuals on the continent, Africa’s tech industry has only produced four billionaires. Put together; their total net worth is 14.4 billion, which is 19.37% of the total net worth of billionaires on the continent.
The COVID-19 pandemic, although harsh, has been favourable to some businesses and their owners. The CEO of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, became wealthier recently after listing BUA foods plc shares on the Nigeria exchange. His worth soared by approximately $1.9 billion. He toppled Mike Adenuga on the ‘richest man in Nigeria’ list as Rabiu is now the second richest man in the country.
Here are 4 of Africa’s billionaires in tech.
Mike Adenuga (Telecom, Nigeria)
Mike Adenuga, the CEO of Globacom Nigeria, is currently the third richest man in Nigeria, with a net worth of 6.6 billion dollars as of 2022. He amasses his wealth from the telecommunication and oil sectors.
Globacom ranks second mobile operator based on market shares and penetration. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the company also attracted 2.8 million new subscribers between July and September 2021, accounting for 86% of the industry’s quarterly increase. This increased the company’s subscriber base from more than 50.1 million in June to 52.9 million in September 2021.
The company has branches in African countries such as Ghana and the Benin Republic. Adenuga has an oil company called Conoil that manages six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
Naguib Sawiris (Telecom, Egypt)
Naguib Sawiris is also one of Africa’s billionaires from Egypt who built his wealth from the tech industry and ranks 9th in Africa’s billionaires’ list. He made his fortune in the telecommunications business. His family is well-known in Egypt, and his brother Nassef Sawiris is the second richest person in Africa.
Naguib established Orascom Telecom Holdings and sold it to Veon in a multibillion-dollar deal in 2011. Sawiris controls 88% of a pay-TV and video news network that broadcasts across Europe and a luxury resort named Silversands on the Caribbean island of Grenada. He is currently worth $3.2 billion.
Koos Bekker (Naspers, South Africa)
Jacobus Petrus ‘Koos’ Bekker is currently worth $3 billion and is the 10th richest man in Africa. The South African billionaire and chairman of the Naspers Group have subsidiaries which include Multichoice, OLX Group and Prosus. Bekker’s group operates in Latin America, China, India, Russia, and other European countries. And also in America and Africa.
Strive Masiyiwa (Telecom, Zimbabwe)
Strive Masiyiwa is the 16th richest man in Africa. After years of pushback from the government, the Zimbabwean billionaire founded Econet Wireless in 1998.
More than 50% shares of the telecommunications company belong to him. Also, more than half of Liquid Telecom, a private company that offers telecommunication companies in Africa fibre optic and satellite services, belongs to him.
Strive Masiyiwa also holds shares in Burundi and Lesotho’s mobile phone networks and investments in African fintech and power distribution companies. He is worth $1.5 billion.
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