Despite facing a decline in wealth of $400 million, Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian business magnate, remains the richest African for the 12th year, according to a recently released list by Forbes.
However, the list reveals new entrants such as Johann Rupert and Family and Nicky Oppenheimer and Family, who hold the second and third positions with $10.7 billion and $8.4 billion, respectively.
Johann Rupert, who owns shares of the Compagnie Financiere Richemont, Cartier watches, and Montblanc pens, saw his wealth decline from $11 billion in 2022, but rebounded in 2023. Despite this rebound, Africa’s wealthiest people have lost a combined $3.1 billion over the last year due to a global market downturn that began in 2022.
The Forbes report shows that the 19 billionaires in Africa are currently worth about $81.8 billion, which is a decline from $84.9 billion held by 18 African billionaires a year before. This 3.6% decline follows a 15% increase last year on the back of surging stock values from Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
The decline in the billionaires’ wealth is in tandem with global equities prices, with the S&P All Africa index falling more than 20% in the first nine months before rebounding late last year, leaving the index down only 3% over the previous year. The report shows other Nigerian billionaires, Abdul Samad Rabiu and Mike Adenuga, occupying the fourth and sixth positions, respectively, with a combined wealth of $26.6 billion.
Interestingly, the Forbes Africa report differs from the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, a daily update of billionaires’ rankings, which puts Dangote’s wealth at close to $20 billion. Meanwhile, News About Nigeria reports that Dangote Cement Lagos and Ogun’s regional sales director, Dolapo Alli, disclosed that the company’s car business, Dangote Sinotruck West Africa Limited, has the capacity to build 10,000 trucks yearly.
Alli stated that Dangote Sinotruk West Africa manufactures a range of commercial vehicles, including heavy-duty trucks, medium trucks, light trucks, semi-trailers, and buses, and was participating in the 13th Gateway International Trade Fair in Abeokuta, Ogun state, for the first time.
While Africa’s billionaires have suffered a decline in their wealth due to a global market downturn, there are new entrants on the list, and some billionaires have rebounded from their losses. In Nigeria, Dangote Sinotruck West Africa Limited’s ability to manufacture 10,000 trucks yearly is a promising development for the country’s economy.
Overall, it is essential for Africa’s wealthiest people to adapt to market changes and remain innovative to maintain their positions on the ForbesAfrica.com list.