For the second year running, Nigerian businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has been listed as Africa’s richest man, in the latest ranking of the continent’s billionaires and millionaires released by renowned business magazine, Forbes.
Dangote, 55, leads 39 other businessmen and top company executives — comprising 12 South Africans, 11 Nigerians, eight Egyptians, five Moroccans, an Angolan, a Tanzanian, a Ugandan and a Kenyan — across the continent with a net worth of $12bn.
Other Nigerians on the list are Mike Adenuga, Jim Ovia, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Folorunsho Alakija, Theophilus Danjuma, Oba Otudeko, Mohammed Indimi, O. B. Lulu-Briggs, Sanni Bello, and Hakeem Bello-Osagie.
“Africa is no longer big enough for Aliko Dangote, the continent's richest man,” said a Forbes report. “His flagship company, Dangote Cement, is Africa's largest cement manufacturer, with operations in 14 African countries. In September, Dangote revealed plans to open cement plants in Myanmar and Iraq. In October, he sold his controlling stake in Dangote Flour Mills to South African consumer goods firm Tiger Brands for $190 million.”
Ten of the listed 40 richest Africans, including three Nigerians, are debutants. Also, it is the first time that two women are represented on the list.
The three debuting Nigerians, Folorunsho Alakija, O.B. Lulu-Briggs and Sani Bello occupy the 24th, 31st and 37th spots respectively.
Sixty-one-year-old Folorunsho Alakija began her career in the mid-70s as a secretary at extinct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria; and after studying fashion design in England, she founded Supreme Stitches, a high-class Nigerian fashion label.
In 1993 then-president, Ibrahim Babangida awarded her company, Famfa Oil, an oil prospecting license, which went on to become OML 127, one of Nigeria's most prolific oil blocks, thus beginning a financial ascendancy that has earned her the status of Nigeria’s richest woman at a net worth of $600m.
The other two, Lulu-Briggs and Bello, also owe their stupendous wealth to oil. Octogenarian Lulu-Briggs is the founder and chairman of Moni Pulo Limited, an oil exploration and production company that was awarded its first oil block in 1992 during an era when Babangida was encouraging indigenous participation in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. The company currently has oil blocks in Ondo state, Abia and Akwa-Ibom state.
Sani Bello, 69 and a former military governor from Kano State, though, has supported his oil fortunes with a telecom base. He co-founded AMNI Petroleum, an oil exploration company with a 50 per cent interest in the Okoro and Setu oil fields, sharing ownership of the Okoro field with London-listed exploration firm Afren. Bello also owns a minority stake in mobile telecom firm, MTN Nigeria.
Aside the 40, Forbes listed another 10 as current millionaires tipped to break into the top 40 rank in 2013. They are Femi Otedola (Nigeria), Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwe), Paschal Dozie (Nigeria), Ashish Thakkar (Uganda), Obateru Akinrutan (Nigeria) and Tunde Folawiyo (Nigeria).
Others are Sunny Odogwu (Nigeria), Sipho Nkosi (South Africa), Wendy Appelbaum (South Africa) and Samuel Macharia (Kenya).
Three millionaires who were featured in last year’s list of the 10 African millionaires to watch — Naushad Merali (Kenya), Isabel Dos Santos (Angola) and Said Salim Bakhresa (Tanzania) — burst into Forbes’ latest list of Africa’s 40 Richest.