by Isi Esene
Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service, has launched its second annual ranking of Africa’s wealthiest people. The Richest People in Africa list remains the most comprehensive compilation of the continent’s wealthiest individuals.
In 2014, Ventures Africa counted 55 African billionaires with a net worth totalling $161.7 billion, a 12.4% rise from $143.8 billion in 2013.
This year Nigeria remains the continent’s top contributor to the Rich List. Of the 55 billionaires, 23 are Nigerian. Their collective wealth is $77.7 billion. This is 48 percent of the total Rich List wealth, almost as much as the other countries combined.
Other key findings from the research include:
- Nigeria has four new billionaires. Cletus Ibeto, founder of multi-business conglomerate, Ibeto Group, leads the list of newcomers with a net worth of $3.7 billion. He is followed by Benedict Peters, an oil magnate valued at $2.7 billion. Well-known financer and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, valued at $1.6 billion, and Akanimo Udofia, worth $1 billion, complete the list.
- Aliko Dangote, founder of Africa’s largest industrial conglomerate Dangote Group, remains the continent’s richest man. His net worth has grown to $25.7 billion, a 21% rise from his $20.2 billion valuation in 2013.
- Igho Sanomi, a Nigerian oil trader, shares the position of Africa’s youngest billionaire with Mohammed Dewji, Tanzania’s richest man. At 39, Igho Sanomi, the founder of oil conglomerate Taleveras Group, is worth $1.3 billion.
- Folorunsho Alakija, the richest black woman in the world, is worth $7.3 billion dollars.
- Almost 40% of Nigeria’s billionaires’ wealth is tied to its oil and gas industry.
According to Chi-Chi Okonjo, founder of Ventures Africa, “The Ventures Africa Rich List is the most authoritative accounting of individual African wealth. We have been able to do so because of our on-the-ground experience and detailed knowledge of the local African business landscape.”
The list has been compiled using financial reports, by tracking equity holdings around stock markets and identifying specific shareholding structures in large, privately-held companies. The results have been corroborated with investment bankers, realtors and financial analysts to determine proper valuations.
To view the full Ventures Africa Rich List please visit: richlist.ventures-africa.com/2014.