Forbes magazine has been hard at work with its calculators to reveal Africa’s 40 richest people – but the list has been scrubbed clean of any dictators.
Top of the pile is Nigerian Aliko Dangote, head of food and cement company Dangote Group, with a net worth of $10.1billion (£6.4billion).
Many of Africa’s former presidents such as Kenya’s former president Daniel Arap Moi and Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodorin Obiang are also billionaires, but Forbes discounts them as much of their wealth comes from being in a position of power.
Forbes describes the list as ‘a testament to the growing global importance of the continent’.
The combined wealth of the 40 richest people in Africa is $64.9billion (£41billion) – and 16 of them are billionaires in their own right.
There are no women on the list at all and the richest men are based in just six of Africa's 47 countries – Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.
Dangote’s wealth has shot up by a staggering 557 per cent in the past year alone, according to Forbes.
His Lagos-based company is Africa’s biggest cement manufacturer –and it also makes enormously popular food products such as noodles, spaghetti and milk.
Like any self-respecting high roller, 54 year old Dangote likes to flash the cash. His 45th birthday present to himself, for instance, was a £28million bombardier aircraft, which he uses to pop over to London for meetings.
Number two on the list is 66-year-old South African Nicky Oppenheimer, who has amassed a $6.5billion (£4.1billion) fortune through the lucrative diamond trade.
He took the helm of world famous De Beers in 1998, but sold a 40 per cent stake in the company to Anglo American, which was founded by his grandfather, for $5.1billion.
You’ll find the third wealthiest African in Egypt.
Nassef Sawiris has a net worth of $4.75billion (£3billion) and runs the country’s most valuable publicly-traded company – Orascom Construction Industries.
Fifty-year-old Sawiris makes a bit of extra cash through stakes in cement firm Lafarge and Texas Industries.
Completing the top five are Johann Rupert, the 61-year-old South African worth $4.7billion (£2.9billion) who heads Richemont, an umbrella company for the likes of Dunhill and Montblanc, and 58-year-old oil tycoon Nigerian Mike Adenuga who’s worth $4.3billion (£2.7billion).
Forbes never includes rulers in its rich lists, explaining that it’s hard to distinguish between wealth derived from entrepreneurship and that gained from being in high office.
Were presidents to be included in Africa’s rich list, Daniel Arap Moi would undoubtedly be near the top. He ruled Kenya for 28 years and diverted a billion dollars from the government’s bank account to his own personal one, according to risk consultancy company Kroll Associates.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak has a fortune that Forbes puts at being ‘in the region of nine to 10 figures’.
However, it’s almost impossible to calculate his precise worth.
The magazine said: ‘It is almost certain that Mubarak diverted an enormous amount of his country’s funds into his personal piggy bank.’
Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodorin Obiang has a $600million fortune, according to Forbes, but it is convinced that a lot of this has also been amassed by siphoning off state funds.
THE TOP 10 RICHEST AFRICANS
1 Aliko Dangote, Nigeria
Business: Food and cement
2 Nicky Oppenheimer,
3 Nassef Sawiris
4 Johann Rupert & family,
Business: Luxury goods
5 Mike Adenuga, Nigeria
6 Miloud Chaabi, Morocco
Business: Housing and hotels
7 Naguib Sawiris, Egypt
8 Christoffel Wiese, South Africa
9 Onsi Sawiris, Egypt
Business: Construction, telecoms
10 Patrice Motsepe, South Africa
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