Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the richest person in Africa for the tenth year in a row, worth $12.1 billion /Photo: Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Forbes releases Africa’s Billionaires 2021 List

The international business magazine Forbes has released its annual list of Africa’s most wealthy individuals.

According to the report, the continent has 18 billionaires this year, down from 20 in 2020. Together, they are worth $73.8 billion, slightly more than the $73.4 billion aggregate worth of the 20 billionaires last year.

Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the richest person in Africa for the tenth year in a row, worth $12.1 billion. He is richer by $2 billion from last year’s list “thanks to a roughly 30% rise in the share price of Dangote Cement, by far his most valuable asset”.

The self-made 63-year-old Lagos-based tycoon founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the African continent’s largest cement producer.

According to Forbes, only seven out of Africa’s 54 nations have billionaires – South Africa and Egypt each have five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two.

No women feature on the list this year. The only two women billionaires from Africa recorded in previous years’ lists, have both fallen off. They are Folorunsho Alakija and Isabel dos Santos.

Kerry A Dolan of Forbes writes: “Forbes calculates that the fortune of Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria, who owns an oil exploration company, dropped below $1 billion due to lower oil prices. And Isabel dos Santos, who since 2013 has been the richest woman in Africa, was knocked from her perch by a series of court decisions freezing her assets in both Angola and Portugal. In January 2020, the attorney general of Angola charged Dos Santos with embezzlement and money laundering. The Angolan court claimed that actions taken by Dos Santos, her husband Sindika Dokolo (who died in October 2020, reportedly in a scuba diving accident) and one other associate caused the Angolan government losses of at least $1.14 billion. Forbes now values Dos Santos’ frozen assets at zero. Through a spokesperson, Dos Santos declined to comment.”

Every year in January, Forbes, a global media company, publishes the list of African billionaires. This year’s list was published on Friday, 23 January 23.

See the full list of Africa’s billionaires here.

Kunle Oladapo

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