Money talks: Folorunsho Alakija listed as Africa’s leading female billionaire with a $7.3 billion fortune

by Oge Okonkwo


There are 55 legitimate dollar-billionaires in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent wealth report by African business Intelligence Company, Ventures Africa.

Ventures Africa (, a leading African business magazine published its inaugural ranking of the richest people in Africa on Monday at

According to the ranking, Africa’s richest person is Nigerian commodities tycoon Aliko Dangote who lays claim to a $20.2 billion fortune. The second richest person on the continent is South African money manager Allan Gray with a fortune pegged at $8.5 billion while the third richest person is Nigerian telecoms tycoon Mike Adenuga who is worth $8 billion.

The oldest billionaires are Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria and Egyptian property tycoon Mohammed Al-Fayed, both aged 84. The youngest billionaires are Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania and Igho Sanomi, a Nigerian oil trader. They are both 38 years old.

Three women make it to the rankings. The richest of them is Folorunsho Alakija, a Nigerian fashion designer and oil tycoon who is worth about $7.3 billion by our estimates. Isabel Dos Santos, an Angolan investor who is also the daughter of Angola’s President Eduardo Dos Santos and Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the widow of Kenya’s first President also made the cut.

The combined fortune of Africa’s 55 billionaires is $143.88 billion. The average net worth of the members of this exclusive club is $2.6 billion while the median age of the richest people in Africa is 65 years.

Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt lead the pack with the highest number of billionaires at 20, 9 and 8 respectively. Algeria, Angola, Zimbabwe and Swaziland only have one billionaire each. In all, there are 10 African countries represented on the list.

Commenting on the rich list, Ventures Africa’s Publisher Chi-Chi Okonjo said: “Ventures Africa’s Rich list is the most definitive guide to wealth in Africa. With our understanding of the culture of wealth on the continent and our proximity to its sources, we have been able to compile a comprehensive guide.”

Ventures Africa is Africa’s leading business magazine and news service. Founded by Chi-Chi Okonjo and edited by Uzodinma Iweala.

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