5 African Billionaires Who died and Left Billions for their Families
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5 African Billionaires Who died and Left Billions for their Families

Death spares no one, not even the billionaires on the African continent. It remains the ultimate equaliser in the world we live in. The interesting thing about death is, it takes the billionaires and leaves their billions behind.

This article examines the lives of some African billionaires who, despite their unparalleled riches, succumbed to the inevitable fate of mortality, leaving behind fortunes that forever shaped the destinies of their families. Let’s get started.

Onsi Sawiris

Onsi Sawiris is an African billionaire who died on the 29th of June, 2021. He was the patriarchal head of Egypt’s wealthiest family and the founder of Orascom Group.

The late business magnate was the father to billionaires Naguib, Nassef and Samih Sawiris. His sons run the construction, tourism, telecom, technology and industrial wings of Orascom Group. 

Onsi was estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in 2017. His family held the three largest stocks by market capitalisation on the Cairos exchange in 2003. Onsi died at the age of 91.

Chris Kirubi

Chris Kirubi is another billionaire who died on the 14th of June 2021. The Kenyan businessman was a director at Centum Investment Company. Reports say he was the largest individual shareholder in the business conglomerate. 

Kirubu died at the age of 81 after a protracted battle with cancer. The late billionaire was ranked the second richest man in Kenya and 31st richest in Africa with a net worth of $301 million in the 2011 Forbes inaugural ranking of Africa’s 40 richest people.

He owned Capital Group, a media group and the parent company of Nairobi’s popular Capital FM and Haco Industries, a manufacturer of consumer goods. His first daughter, Mary Anne Wambui reportedly runs her father’s empire and also sits on a number of boards of public and private companies.

Mohammed Al-Fayed

Mohammed Al-Fayed died at the age of 94 on the 30th of August, 2023. At the time of his death, the African billionaire had an estimated wealth of $2 billion.

Al Fayed’s business interests included ownership of the Hôtel Ritz Paris, and Harrods department store and Fulham Football Club, both in London.

His first wife was the Saudi Arabian author, Samira Khashoggi. Samira gave birth to Dodi- Al Fayed who died in a car crash with Princess Diana. His second wife, former Finnish model Heini Wathen, gave birth to four children, Omar, Camilla, Jasmine and Karim. 

Ahmed Nasreddin

Ahmed Nasreddin died at age 97 in 2021. He was the founder of the Nigeria-based Nasco Group. The Eritrean billionaire established Nasco in Jos, as the first jute bag factory in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He spent over five decades transforming Nasco into a large conglomerate celebrated today as one of the largest producers of breakfast cereals, biscuits and other consumer products in Africa.

His eldest son, Attia Nasreddin currently serves as the chief executive officer and chair of the Nasco Group in Nigeria.

El-Hadj Faraj Ahmed Abri

El-Hadj Faraj Ahmed Abri established the Asas Group in 1978. The Tanzania billionaire died on the 13th of August, 2021 in Dar es Salaam.

His company, ASAS Group is one of the oldest and largest business groups in Tanzania, with divisions in transportation, diary, real estate and fuel distribution.

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