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Insight & Analysis - March 13, 2022

5 Industries that are Making African Billionaires More Wealthy

The finance and investments sector is the industry that has produced most of the world’s billionaires. 

As of 2022, certain industries produced 18 African billionaires. These individuals are worth $84.9 billion, with Aliko Dangote being the wealthiest at $13.9 billion. 

Through their business acumen, they have generated wealth from industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, telecoms, mining, among others.

However, according to Forbes, the finance and investments sector is the industry that has produced most of the world’s billionaires. 

In 2016, the industry made about 16% billionairess. In 2021, it produced about 13% of the billionaires. Although there is a decline in the percentage, the industry still leads the chart.

Although Africa contributes little to the global billionaires list, the industry continues to expand. Here are some of the industries that are generating African billionaires.

Industry: Media

Koos Bekker

Naspers, Africa’s tenth richest man, is the chairman of Naspers, a media company with activities in more than 100 countries. Naspers is regarded as one of the largest technology investors in the world. One of the corporation’s investments is Tencent, a Chinese internet and media company.

Industry: Mining

Patrice Motsepe

The ninth richest man in Africa is the first Black African to feature on the Forbes Billionaire List. He is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals, which invests in mineral resources such as platinum, copper, and coal. He is also the founder of African Rainbow Capital, a private equity business.

Naguib Sawiris

Naguib Sawiris is Africa’s eighth richest man. He has investments in some gold mines across the world. When he sold his interest in the telecom business Vimpelcom in 2011, he gained more than $4 billion. 

Manufacturing and Industrial

Nassef Sawiris

Nassef Sawiris, the son of billionaire Onsi Sawiris, is the fourth wealthiest man in Africa. He is Egypt’s richest man and has a 30% share in fertiliser maker OCI N.V. He has a 6% investment in Adidas, the sportswear giant, and is on the supervisory board.

He bought a 5% ownership in Madison Square Garden Sports, the New York-listed company that owns the NBA Knicks and the NHL Rangers, in December 2020. With factories in Texas and Iowa, he oversees OCI N.V., one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertiliser manufacturers.

OCI N.V. trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. His engineering and construction firm, Orascom Construction, is listed on the Cairo market and Nasdaq Dubai. His investments include Lafarge Holcim, a cement major.

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa. He founded the Dangote Group, the largest corporation in West Africa, and he owns Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest cement company. Dangote Cement has operations in ten African nations.

Also, Dangote’s group has a fertiliser factory that commenced operations in 2021 after several years of construction. The corporation also manufactures sugar, salt, wheat, steel, oil, and gas. 

Apart from the manufacturing industry, the Dangote group is also building a refinery that will be functioning in 2022. This is expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries once complete. 

Abdulsamad Rabiu

Abdulsamad Rabiu is the fifth richest man in Africa. Rabiu is the founder of the Nigerian conglomerate BUA Group, which is best known for producing cement and sugar and managing real estate. In 1988, he started his own business importing iron, steel, and chemicals.


Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga is the founder of  Globacom and the sixth richest man in Africa. The company is Africa’s second-largest telecommunications company. At 26, he made his first million-selling lace and distributing carbonated drinks.

Strive Masiyiwa

He controls slightly over half of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a publicly listed subsidiary of Econet Group. Masiyiwa controls a little more than half of Liquid Telecom, a private company that provides fibre optic and satellite services to telecommunication companies in Africa. He also has a stake in Burundi and Lesotho mobile phone networks and investments in African fintech and power distribution companies.


Johann Rupert

Johann Rupert is the second richest man in Africa. He chaired the Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods company of which Cartier and Montblanc are two of the company’s most well-known brands. 

It was founded in 1998 due to a spinoff of assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited, founded by his father Anton Rupert in the 1940s. The company is now known as Remgro Limited. He has a 7% ownership in Remgro and a 25% stake in Reinet, a Luxembourg-based investment holding company.

Mohamed, Yasseen and Youssef Mansour

Mohamed Mansour is Africa’s twelfth richest man. In Egypt, the Mansour Group is the leading distributor of GM automobiles. The firm is noted for being one of the largest General Motors sellers globally and a top Caterpillar distributor. It also owns and operates Metro Markets, Egypt’s largest grocery chain.

READ ALSO: How South African Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Made His Billions

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