Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 Wealthiest Africans (by Country)

Aliko Dangote

 1.   ALIKO DANGOTE, 57 years old, $24.9 billion, Cement, Sugar, Flour (Nigeria)

Africa's richest man is looking beyond cement, sugar and flour--the three commodities that built his fortune--to the oil business. In April, he announced $9 billion in financing from a consortium of local and international lenders to construct a private oil refinery, fertilizer and petrochemical complex in the country. His publicly traded Dangote Cement is also grabbing new markets in Africa, with $750 million in new plants planned for Kenya and Niger. He made his first fortune more than three decades ago when he started trading commodities with a loan from his powerful uncle.

Johann Rupert
2.   JOHANN RUPERT, 64 years old, $8.2 billion, Luxury Goods (South Africa)

South African luxury goods tycoon and South Africa's richest man, Johann Rupert owes his fortune to Swiss-based Compagnie Financiere Richemont, which owns brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc. In September the avid golfer spent $4 million on a buffalo bull, used for breeding buffalo for private game reserves. It's an investment that he hopes will pay for itself through sales of its offspring. His Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his brother, started being sold in the United States in late 2012.

Nassef Sawiris
3.   NASSEF SAWIRIS, 53 years old, $7.1 billion, Construction (Egypt)

Nassef Sawiris runs Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt's most valuable publicly-traded company. In early 2013 he moved the company's listing from the Egyptian stock exchange to NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam. He ended a tax dispute with the government of Egypt's then-president Mohamed Morsi in April 2013, agreeing to pay $1 billion between 2013 and 2017. The Morsi government had accused OCI of failing to pay taxes when it sold its cement business to French giant Lafarge in 2007. That dispute held up the filing of a planned tender offer for Orascom Construction's shares by its parent company, Netherlands-based OCI N.V. Last year OCI received commitments for $2 billion in investments, including $1 billion from Bill Gates and three other large U.S. investors.

Isabel Dos Santos
4.   ISABEL DOS SANTOS, 41 years old, $4 billion, Investments (Angola)

Isabel dos Santos, oldest daughter of Angola's long-time president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is Africa's richest woman. Though her representatives deny that her holdings have any connection with her father, Forbes research shows that the president has transferred stakes in several companies to his daughter. Holdings in Angola include 25% of Unitel, the largest mobile phone network operator, and a state in Banco BIC. In Portugal she owns 50% of cable TV and Internet firm Zon Optimus and, alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim, a nearly 7% stake in Portuguese oil and gas firm Galp Energia. Her next bid: opening Sonae hypermarkets in Angola with Portuguese billionaire Belmiro de Azevedo.

Nathan Kirsh
5.   NATHAN KIRSH, 82 years old, $3.9 billion, Retail, Real Estate (Swaziland)

Nathan Kirsh made his first fortune in his native Swaziland, founding a corn milling business there in 1958. He expanded into wholesale food distribution in apartheid South Africa, and then into a variety of other businesses including supermarkets and commercial property development. Then South African insurance company Sanlam bought up 49% of Kirsh's company, and entered into agreements to build a slew of financially unviable shopping malls backed by company assets. Suddenly Kirsh was broke. The bulk of his current fortune comes from Jetro Holdings, which operates Jetro Cash and Carry stores and Restaurant Depots in the New York City area, supplying wholesale goods to bodegas, small stores and restaurants. He told FORBES that Jetro has a near-monopoly on the business of providing goods to small stores in the New York City area while other wholesalers don't deem them worth the time. His charitable endeavors are focused on Swaziland, where he has supplied more than 10,000 people with starter capital for small businesses. He says 70% of the recipients are women and the program has a 70% success rate. He is also working to make Swazi high schools the first in Africa to guarantee graduates are computer-literate.

Issad Rebrab
6.   ISSAD REBRAB, 70 years old, $3.2 billion, Food (Algeria)

Issad Rebrab joins the Forbes Billionaires list this year thanks to his thriving $3.5 billion (sales) food business, Cevital, a producer of sugar, vegetable oil and margarine. An accountant by training, one of his clients talked him into investing in the client's metal company in 1971. By 1995 Rebrab had expanded into food, founding Cevital three years later. His five children work at the company. His success is unusual in a country with socialist policies hostile to entrepreneurs and he is Algeria's first-ever billionaire. "Today we [entrepreneurs] are accepted, but not encouraged," he said in a French TV interview. He is the son of militants who fought for Algeria's independence from France.

Othman Benjelloun
7.   OTHMAN BENJELLOUN, 81 years old, $2.8 billion, Banking, Insurance (Morocco)

Through his holding company, FinanceCom, Othman Benjelloun has interests in banking, insurance, and telecom in Morocco. His largest asset is RMA Watanya, an insurer. He is CEO of BMCE Bank, one of the country's largest banks, which is active in more than 15 African countries, generating 44% of BMCE Bank's earnings last year. FinanceCom also runs Paris-based money management firm FinanceCom Asset Management. Last year it launched investment fund FCOM Africa on the French market with initial capital of $28 million (20 million euros). It plans to invest in companies in Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, and Ghana, among other countries.

Sudhir Ruparelia
8.   SUDHIR RUPARELIA, 58 years old, $1.1 billion, Real Estate (Uganda)

Sudhir Ruparelia, East Africa's richest man, is new to the Forbes World's Billionaires list this year. He is the founder of the Ruparelia Group, Uganda's largest conglomerate, with interests in property, banking, education, insurance and agriculture. It owns a chain of hotels, hundreds of commercial and residential properties in Kampala, a country club, a chain of foreign exchange bureaus, two secondary schools and Crane Bank, one of Uganda's top three commercial banks. In 2013 he acquired Uganda's Victoria University, promising to invest $10 million in the next few years to make it one of East Africa's finest. He was born in Uganda but moved to the United Kingdom with his parents at age 16 after President Idi Amin expelled all Asians in 1972. He worked small jobs in the U.K. and returned to Uganda in 1985 with $25,000 in savings. He started a commodity trading business and foreign exchange bureaus. His son and daughter, Rajiv and Meera occupy senior positions in his company.

Rostam Azizi
9.   ROSTAM AZIZI, 49 years old, $1.1 billion, Telecom, Investments (Tanzania)

Rostam Azizi is new to the Forbes World's Billionaires list this year. The first and only billionaire in Tanzania, he owes the bulk of his fortune to his 35% stake in Vodacom Tanzania, the country's largest mobile phone company with more than 10 million subscribers. He also owns Caspian Mining, a contract mining company that provides services to giants like BHP Billiton and Barrick Gold. Caspian Mining also owns several mining concessions for gold, copper and Iron ore in Tanzania. Azizi's other assets include a stake in Dar es Salaam Port where he is a partner with Hong Kong investment holding company Hutchison Whampoa; a controlling stake in a newspaper publisher; and extensive real estate in Tanzania, Dubai, Oman and Lebanon. A fifth generation Tanzanian of Persian origin, he is a former member of Tanzania's parliament. He gives millions annually to groups focused on education, health and cultural preservation.

Source: Forbes

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