Dangote reclaims spot as Africa’s top billionaire

The president of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has retained his position as the richest person in Africa with a networth of $13.9 billion, in the 2024 Forbes list of 20 of Africa’s Richest billionaires released yesterday.

According to Forbes, the fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest people rebounded slightly in the past 12 months, reversing the decline in their fortunes from a year ago, though they were still off their all-time highs.

The New Jersey-based media outfit, pointed out that the 20 billionaires on the 2024 Forbes list of Africa’s Richest were worth a combined $82.4 billion, which was up $900 million from last year’s $81.5 billion

The Executive Chairman of Geregu Power Plc and a Non-Executive Director FBN Holdings, Mr. Femi Otedola, was named among the 20 richest persons in Africa. Otedola was listed as the 19th richest person in Africa with networth of $1.1 billion

Specifically, Forbes attributed the improvement in the networth of those listed to the return of Otedola, whom it stressed last appeared on the Forbes Africa list in 2017, when he held a controlling stake in fuel distributor Forte Oil.

“Otedola phased out his oil investments during a government push to privatise the country’s energy business in 2013, using a Forte subsidiary to purchase Geregu, a public power generation plant.

“He owned about 90 per cent of Geregu when it was listed on the Nigerian exchange’s Main Board in 2022, but has since sold shares to institutional investors, which include Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa and the State Grid Corporation of China.

“His 73 per cent stake in Geregu is worth more than $850 million, about three-quarters of his $1.1 billion fortune.

“After taking Otedola’s comeback into account, Africa’s billionaires dipped slightly, but still fared better than the decline of four per cent last year, when African markets faded in sync with equity values around the world.

“This year, African equities joined a late-year global rally, with the S&P All Africa index rising 10 per cent in the final two months of 2023 but still ended down more than 9% in the 12 months through January 8, 2024,” Forbes stated.

Dangote is closely followed by Johann Rupert and Family from South Africa, with networth of $10.1 billion; another South African businessman, Nicky Oppenheimer and his family, with networh of $9.4 billion; Nassef Sawiris with networth of $8.7 billion; Nigeria’s Mike Adenuga with networth of $6.9 billion and the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, with networth of $5.9 billion, in that order.



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