Having your name on the Billionaire’s list does not come in a day’s work. It demands persistence, effort, courage, and talent. There are so many people running the same path, aiming for success, for the finish line but so many fall short and others do not even get the chance to start.
According to Forbes African Billionaires of 2016 list, 24 Africans made the cut this year. Ranging from Nigeria to South Africa, Africans are constantly showing their resilience and brilliance, making the mark not only in Africa but all over the world too.
We have compiled 8 African billionaires from 8 different countries to showcase each country’s role model and the efforts these people are making where they are.
#1. Aliko Dangote, Nigeria
Worth $15.5 billion, Dangote is known as Africa’s richest man and is the CEO of Dangote Group.
He founded Dangote Cement which is the largest cement producer and provider in Africa. It has expanded to Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Cameroon and produces 30 million metric tons every year.
Companies involved in salt, sugar and flour also constitute the Dangote Group.
#2. Nicky Oppenheimer, South Africa
Aged 70, Nicky Oppenheimer is South Africa’s richest man involved in the diamond trade. Having inherited 40% of his family’s business (DeBeers), he sold his stake to Anglo American, a company owned by his grandfather. He also owns and controls E. Oppenheimer & Son. In 2002, whilst chairman of DeBeers, Oppenheimer launched a diamond route which consists of 250, 000 hectares of land surrounding diamond mines and DeBeers and Oppenheimer property.
DeBeers and Oppenheimer have hands in African food and run Tana Africa Capital and Stockdale Street Capital.
#3. Nassef Sawiris, Egyptian
Sawiris is known as Egypt’s richest businessman. Running a company in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co, OCI was formed in 2014. However, it split into two different companies- Orascom Construction which deals with trade and OCI that handles fertilizer and chemicals.
Nassef Sawiris is the largest shareholder of LafargeHolcim, with a share of 5%. It later merged with OCI in 2015. Also, he owns a 6% stake in Adidas which amounts to more than $1 billion.
In March 2015, he contributed $20 million to the University of Chicago, which he attended. The school now runs a scholarship program for the benefit of Egyptian students.
#4. Nathan Kirsh, Swaziland
Kirsh of Swaziland makes fourth on our list, finding success in the corn milling business he founded in his country in 1958. He further went on to the wholesale food distribution market in South Africa and helped build supermarkets and shopping malls. 49% of his company was bought by Sanlam.
However, he ended up broke at one point in his life. His fortune is derived from Jetro Holdings which has branches and restaurants in New York City, one of which is Jetro Cash and Carry, which supplies wholesale goods to small stores and restaurants.
One of his quotes was “You can’t take money with you. And if you can’t do things with it, you’re a bloody fool.”
#5. Isabel dos Santos, Angolan
The oldest daughter of Angola’s former president, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel constitutes one of two of Africa’s richest woman. Her investments include those in Portugal and especially in her country Angola, with 25% assets in Unitel, Angola’s largest mobile network and a share in Banco BIC, a well-known bank in the country.
In Portugal, she has shares in oil and gas especially in Galp Energia and 19% share in Banco BPI, Portugal’s fourth-largest bank. Isabel also has hands in cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS.
She was also resilient enough to purchase a stake in Portuguese electric power equipment company, Efacec Power Solutions which cost a little more than $200 million.
Alongside Folorunsho Alakija, she forms one of Africa’s richest woman.
#6. Issad Rebrab, Algerian
Issad Rebrab, aged 72, is Algeria’s richest man having founded Algeria’s biggest conglomerate, Cevital. It possesses sugar refineries and produces vegetable oil and margarine.
Issad hasn’t been afraid to spend as he is been buying European companies that are struggling. Among such companies was Groupe Bandt which is a French-based appliance making company that had been swimming in bankruptcy. Cevital purchased it and a Brandt plant in Algeria costing over $200 million has been built. He is confident that his company can compete with China for cheap labor.
Issad Rebrab is the son of militants who participated in the fight for Algeria’s independence from France.
#7. Othman Benjelloun, Moroccan
BMCE Bank, one of Morroco’s largest banks has Othman Benjelloun as its head. It is present in several African countries such as Kenya, Congo, and Senegal.
Othman is a majority shareholder in an insurance company, RMA Watanya and has a stake in Meditelecom, a mobile phone operator in Morocco. He boasts a money management firm FinanceCom Asset Management which makes investments in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. Othman Benjelloun aims to build a 30-story ‘rocket-shaped tower’ to house BMCE’s headquarters in Casablanca.
#8. Mohammed Dewji, Tanzanian
Founded in 1970 by his father, METL is managed by Mohammed Dewji, a Tanzanian conglomerate. It is a company with involvement in flour milling, beverages, textile manufacturing and edible oils in various aspects of Africa.
He also created Mo Cola, which is considered cheaper than Coca-Cola and competes with Tanzanian Said Salim Bakhresa’s Azam Cola. Having done the best he could in the Tanzanian parliament for two terms, he retired.
Dewji founded a scholarship foundation for poor Tanzanian children called the Mo Dewji Foundation.