Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, is still Africa’s richest person despite the fact that his wealth declined by 15.6 per cent in the last 12 months. He retained this position on the Forbes’ Africa Billionaires List for the eighth consecutive year.
Dangote’s new net worth value is $10.3 billion, about $2 billion decline from his $12.2 billion net worth in January, 2018. This decline was primarily due to the nearly 20 percent drop in the share price of Dangote Cement Plc, his most valuable asset, last year.
All the 20 African tycoons ranked in the list are worth $68.7 billion, down from $75.4 billion for last year’s list. However, the average net worth for each list member this year has climbed to $3.4 billion from $3.3 billion in early 2018. Forbes blamed plunging stock values and weaker currencies for the shrinking in the billionaires club in Africa.
“Buffeted by plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, the number of African billionaires has shrunk to just 20, down from 23 a year ago. Four people fell off Forbes’ annual list of the continent’s richest since last year while one returned to the ranks after a four-year absence. All but four members of the list have smaller fortunes than a year ago,” it said.
However, Mike Adenuga, Jnr, Globacom’s Chairman, worth $9.2 billion, moved up the list to No 2 to rank as Africa’s second richest man. Forbes said Adenuga’s net worth rose tremendously from $5.3 billion last year because he provided more detailed information about his assets.
Other Nigerians in the billionaires list are Abdulsamad Rabiu, BUA Group’s Chief Executive Officer, at number 16, returning to the ranking after falling off in 2015 and Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, the Vice-Chair of Famfa Oil, at number 19 same position with South African banker, Michiel Le Roux. She is among the only two women who made the list. The other is Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s former President, ranked at 8th with a net worth of $2.3 billion.
Rabiu’s net worth is boosted with the merger in December last year between his Kalambaina Cement firm with the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, out of which he now owns 97 per cent of the entity. But Alakija’s net worth dropped to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion.
Nicky Oppenheimer, the diamond heir from South Africa is ranked number three in Africa. His family diamond mining firm, DeBeers, which Nicky ran was sold to mining giant Anglo American for $5.1 billion cash in 2012. He is currently worth an estimated $7.3 billion, down from $7.7 billion a year ago.
In a per country ranking, Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco-two.
The Forbes list tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary businesses on the continent. The net worths are calculated using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 4, 2019 while value of privately held businesses are done using estimates of revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies.