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Lists - July 3, 2023

5 Investments African Billionaires Make that You Know Nothing About

African billionaires have been quietly expanding their wealth through diverse and intriguing investments that often go unnoticed. These savvy investors, including notable figures like Aliko Dangote, have ventured into unique areas that offer lucrative opportunities. In this article, we’ll delve into five little-known investment ventures pursued by African billionaires, shedding light on their strategies and highlighting the untapped potential of these industries.

Whiskey and Wine

African billionaires have astutely recognized the profit potential of whiskey and wine investments, leveraging the growing demand for collectible spirits and wines to enhance their portfolios. These investments, often kept under the radar, not only provide substantial financial returns but also add a touch of prestige to their wealth accumulation strategies. The allure of limited editions, aged expressions, and exclusive vineyards creates a captivating market that appeals to both collectors and enthusiasts, resulting in soaring prices and significant appreciation over time.

One prominent example of an African billionaire delving into the wine industry is Patrice Motsepe, a leading industrialist with a diverse investment portfolio spanning key sectors of the South African economy. Motsepe recently made headlines with the acquisition of a 28-hectare luxury wine farm, further expanding his influence in the market. The farm, located in Stellenbosch and listed for sale at R160 million, was reportedly acquired for a substantial amount in cash, adding to Motsepe’s investment endeavors.


African billionaires have discovered the captivating world of collectibles, diversifying their investment portfolios to include a wide range of valuable and highly sought-after items. From rare books and comic books to toys, stamps, coins, sports memorabilia, and even movie collectibles, these billionaires understand the allure of the market and recognize the potential for substantial returns on these unique assets. This trend is highlighted in the Africa Wealth Report released by AfrAsia Bank, shedding light on the evolving investment preferences of Africa’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWI).

Traditionally, residential property has been a favored vehicle for storing wealth among African billionaires, constituting a significant portion of their average net assets. However, the report indicates a shift in investment preferences, with billionaires now embracing new avenues to preserve and grow their wealth. Collectibles, including arts, cars, watches, and private equities, have emerged as popular choices for diversification.

Luxury Watches and Purses

African billionaires have recognised the allure and profit potential of luxury watches and handbags, making them favoured investments in their portfolios. Brands such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Hermes hold particular appeal due to their high-demand products and limited supply, creating an exclusive and prestigious image. By strategically acquiring and reselling these sought-after timepieces and handbags, billionaires have the opportunity to multiply their investments significantly.

The success of luxury watches and purses as investment assets stems from various factors. Limited editions, rare materials, and iconic designs contribute to the exclusivity and desirability of these luxury items. As African billionaires strategically accumulate these coveted brands, their investment value appreciates over time. The scarcity of these products ensures that their prices remain high, making them attractive assets for wealth preservation and growth.

Reports indicate that brands like Zegna, Paul Smith, Hugo Boss, Dunhill, Canali, Aigner, Faconnable, Berluti, Pink, Bally, Armani, and Paul and Shark appeal to Africa’s wealthiest individuals. These brands offer a range of luxury products beyond watches and handbags, expanding the investment options available to African billionaires. By diversifying their holdings across various luxury brands, billionaires can further enhance their portfolios and capitalize on different market trends.

Private Banking & Family Offices

African billionaires enjoy the privileges of private banking, a realm that offers personalized services and exceptional investment opportunities. Unlike regular banking, private banking provides higher returns on deposited cash and grants access to exclusive investment vehicles like private equity, venture capital, and alternative assets. This elite financial service caters to the unique needs and preferences of high-net-worth individuals, further enhancing their wealth accumulation and management.

In Africa, family-owned wealth managers have emerged as key players in catering to the financial needs of billionaires. These family offices, such as TY Danjuma Family Office, Mary Oppenheimer Daughters Family Office (MODO), Oppenheimer Generations, Heirs Holdings, Selous Family Office, Tengen Family Office, and Man Capital, are entities established or engaged by a single family or a group of families to manage their wealth and affairs. While the family office industry is still developing in Africa, a dynamic ecosystem of family offices is slowly taking shape.


Art serves as a mysterious and valuable investment avenue for African billionaires. They understand the unique dynamics of the art market and recognize its potential for growth, even during times of economic turbulence. By investing in luxury, multimillion-dollar artworks, these billionaires discreetly expand their portfolios, capitalizing on the appreciation and exclusivity of fine art. They engage with renowned art galleries, auction houses, and private dealers to acquire masterpieces that hold both aesthetic and financial value.

All in all, African billionaires have been diversifying their investments beyond traditional sectors, venturing into intriguing and lesser-known areas. From whiskey and wine to collectibles, luxury goods, private banking, and art, they employ sophisticated strategies to grow their wealth discreetly. Understanding their investment choices provides a glimpse into the untapped potential of these industries and inspires us to explore alternative avenues for financial success. By embracing these lesser-known investments, individuals can unlock new opportunities and potentially enhance their own wealth portfolios.Al

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