Magazine reports 55 billionaires in Africa

Oct. 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM
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LAGOS, Nigeria, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- There are 55 billionaires based in Africa, more than one-third of them in oil-rich Nigeria, Ventures Africa reported Tuesday.

The countries with the highest number of super-rich are Nigeria with 20, South Africa with nine and Egypt with eight, the magazine said. South Africa's billionaires are mostly descended from European immigrants in a country where the black majority was denied political and economic rights until 1994.

Ten countries have at least one billionaire. Algeria, Angola, Zimbabwe and Swaziland have one each.

The magazine said the average wealth of the billionaires is $2.6 billion, their total assets are estimated at $144 billion and their average age is 65. Only three are women.

Africa's richest man is believed to be Aliko Dangote, 56, of Nigeria, who parlayed a loan from an uncle into a commodities trading business and now has an empire that includes Dangote Cement. The magazine said he is also Africa's leading philanthropist with donations of $100 million in the past year.

Allan Gray, 75, of South Africa is listed in the No. 2 spot with a fortune estimated at $8.5 billion. Gray made his fortune as a slow and patient investor, putting his money into undervalued companies.

Mike Adenuga, 60, of Nigeria is worth about $8 billion from an oil and telecom empire. He is followed by Africa's richest woman, Folorunsho Alakija, 62, of Nigeria, who has an estimated fortune of $7.3 billion from oil.

The women on the list had the advantage of being well-connected. The magazine said Alakija, who started as a fashion designer, got a boost from client Maryam Babangida, wife of former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida. The other women on the list are Isabel Dos Santos, an investor and daughter of Angolan President, Eduardo Dos Santos, and Mama Ngina Kenyatta, widow of Jomo Kenyatta, who led Kenya as prime minister and president from independence to his death in 1978.

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