VENTURES AFRICA – Nigerian billionaire industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has retained his position as Africa’s richest man for the second year running on the Forbes 2012 list of the 40 richest men on the continent.
According to the list released by the US-based magazine, Forbes, the business tycoon who also ranked 76th on Forbes world’s richest list, attained 1st position in Africa with a net worth of $12 billion, up from $10.1 billion in November 2011. Often referred to as Africa’s cement king, Dangote owns several publicly-traded companies but a high percentage of his net worth lies in publicly traded Dangote Cement, which operates in 14 African countries.
“Africa is no longer big enough for Aliko Dangote, the continent’s richest man. His flagship company, Dangote Cement, is Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, with operations in 14 African countries. In September, Dangote revealed plans to open cement plants in Myanmar and Iraq. In October, he sold his controlling stake in Dangote Flour Mills to South African consumer goods firm Tiger Brands,” Forbes said concerning Dangote.
The minimum net worth required to make the list of richest Africans was $400 million, up from $250 million in 2011.
The position for the second richest man on the continent was also retained by South Africa’s Nicky Oppenheimer with a $6.4 billion fortune—down $100 million from a year ago. Oppenheimer in late 2011 sold his family’s 40 per cent stake in diamond producer DeBeers to mining company Anglo American for $5.1 billion. A deal that marked the end of Oppenheimer family 85 years control of DeBeers.
South Africa’s Johann Rupert & family and Nassef Sawiris came third and fourth respectively on the list.
Distinguished new comers on the list include: Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija (24th position with a net worth of $600 Million) of the prolific Agbami oil field and Isabel dos Santos of Angola (31stposition), an entrepreneur, investor and daughter of that country’s president. Both ladies are the first ladies to make the Africa wealthiest list.
Other notable newcomers are: South Africa’s Desmond Sacco and Koos Bekker. Sacco made his billions thanks to his shares in mining concern Assore, which he chairs while Bekker turned media group Naspers into a true multinational firm, taking neither a salary nor a bonus along the way.
Generally, Africa’s economic giant, South Africa, produced 12 of the richest on the list. Nigeria contributed 11, Egypt 8 while Morocco boasts of 5. The wealthiest hail from eight countries – up from six last year while the two new countries represented are Angola (Isabel dos Santos) and Tanzania (Said Salim Bakhresa).
Nigeria wealthiest featured on the list include Mike Adenuga (fifth position) with a net worth of $4.6 billion from his telecommunications and oil companies; Jim Ovia (19th position) with a net worth of $825 million; Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group (21st position) with a net worth of $675 million.
Others are 73-year old former Nigerian defense minister, Theophilus Danjuma (24th position with Alakija) with a net worth of $600 million from the oil sector, 68-year old former banker and Honey Well Group founder, Oba Otudeko came next with a net worth of $575 million. Mohammed Indimi(27th position) with a net worth of $550 million from the oil and gas sector; Lulu-Briggs (31st position) with a net worth of $500 million; former Nigerian Military Governor from Kano State Sani Bello (37th position), and a one-time Nigeria Ambassador to Zimbabwe with a net worth of $425 million while 57-year old Harvard-trained petroleum economist - Hakeem Belo-Osagie with an estimated $400 million net worth clinched the 4oth position on the Forbes Africa’s 40 richest list.
From the Forbes list, thirty-two fortunes are self-made; 19 people have net worth higher than a year ago, while 10 have fortunes that dropped in value. Despite the fact that Africa is largely known for its natural resources, most of the people on the list made their wealth from consumer goods – only four of the 40 draw their net worth from oil.
Meanwhile, Mexican telecoms billionaire, Carlos Slim Helu and Family retained the as the world’s wealthiest on the Forbes List with a net worth of $69 billion, while Bill Gates of United States came second with $61 billion net worth. Warren Buffet of United States came third with a $44 billion net worth. Bernard Arnault of France ($41 billion) and Amancio Ortega of Spain with $37.5 billion net worth clinched the 4th and 5th position respectively.
Oluwabusayo Sotunde is a versatile writer with interest is in business analysis, the Stock Market, book and music reviews. She also has keen interest in developmental issues, reading, adventure and innovation. Her writing experience includes stock market updates on InvestingPort.com and contributing to CP-Africa.com. She also had an internship with Eko FM, Lagos (at the news and current affairs department) before proceeding to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) to complete her studies.