Only 12 Out of 2,043 Billionaires Worldwide are Black

By Soko Directory Team / Published February 20, 2019 | 12:25 pm





Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet are not the only richest individuals languishing in billions. Across the globe, there are other 2,043 billionaires, but only 12 of them are black persons. And black means African ancestry.

These individuals are characterized by fierce determination and courage they have upheld throughout their careers. Needless to say, they are not any different from countless other black men and women whose achievements are not yet visible, in fact, there are way more black millionaires across the globe currently.

The number of black billionaires, however, has dropped due to plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, among others. For instance, Forbes listed American television network executive Bob Johnson as a billionaire, but he was dropped after his fortune was split in his divorce.

Also, Femi Otedola, a Nigerian petroleum executive briefly emerged as one of the black billionaires in 2009 but failed to remain in the list. He made the ranking again in 2016 with another Nigerian sugar tycoon Abdul Samad Rabiu but were both in 2017.

However, through the years one name has remained at the top; Aliko Dangote. For 8 years in a row, he has remained as Africa’s richest person. He is also the richest black person in the world. Here is a complete list.

  1. Aliko Dangote, $10.7 Billion

Aliko Dangote ranks first in the list of black billionaires in the world. His estimated net worth as of February 2019 was 10.7 billion US dollars. According to Forbes ranking, his current net worth is over 2 billion dollars less from the 2018 ranking where he had a net worth of 13.8 billion dollars.

Dangote is the founder and the chairman of Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. He owns almost 88 percent of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company.

Dangote also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar, and flour manufacturing companies.

  1. Mike Adenuga, $9.7 Billion

Mike Adenuga is the second richest black person in the world. He is also Nigeria’s second richest man, with his net worth attributed to the telecom and the oil industry.

Adenuga’s mobile phone network, Globacom, is the third largest telecom operator in Nigeria, with over 43 million subscribers. His oil company, Conoil Producing, operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta.

In early 2016, Adenuga’s personal wealth reached 10 billion US dollars but due to a load of debt and sanctions by the court, his net worth significantly reduced the following year.

It is worth noting that Adenuga has come a long way to becoming one of the billionaires with African ancestry. He made his first million aged 26 by selling lace and distributing soft drinks.

  1. Robert Smith, $5 Billion

Robert Smith is the founder of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm, which began operations in 2000. The company focuses exclusively on investing in software companies, and this is what has tremendously contributed to Smith’s 5 billion-dollar net worth.

He is the third richest black person on earth, thanks to Vista, which boasts over 30 billion dollars in assets making it one of the best-performing private equity firms.

It posts annualized returns of 22 percent, a figure it has consistently upheld since inception.

Well, being an engineer by training certainly doesn’t stop you from joining the billion-dollar club. He is also a philanthropist for that matter and he pledged 50 million dollars (personally and through a foundation) to his former university in 2016.

  1. Oprah Winfrey, $2.5 Billion

Oprah Winfrey is not just a global influential woman, she is rich! She makes the richest black billionaire among women with a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars as of February 2019. Winfrey has transitioned famous talk show into a media, entertainment and business empire earning her millions.

She is the board member and brand ambassador for Weight Watchers since 2015, a position that has grown her shares from 43.5 million dollars to more than 400 million dollars.

Nothing is stopping her; apparently, in 2019 Winfrey signed a multi-year content partnership deal with Apple that includes programs for Apple’s original content lineup.

She has donated 425 million dollars throughout her career, including more than 100 million dollars to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

  1. Strive Masiyiwa, $2.5 Billion

Strive Masiyiwa owns just over 50 percent of the publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group, a mobile phone network he launched in 1998 despite protraction by the government’s opposition.

He is also the owner of more than 50 percent of the private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa. His other source of wealth includes stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa.

“He and his wife Tsitsi founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho,” writes Forbes.

  1. Patrice Motsepe, $2.3 Billion

Patrice Motsepe has colossal investments in mining. He is the founder and the chairman of African Rainbow Minerals. He became a billionaire in 2008, making him the first black African on the Forbes list.

In 2016, he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa. That is not his only source of wealth. Motsepe also has a stake in Sanlam, a listed financial services firm, and is also the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.

Forbes notes that he became the first black partner at law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg, and then started a contracting business doing mine scut work, and in 1994, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and later turned them profitable.

  1. Isabel dos Santos, $2.2 Billion

Isabel dos Santos is the second richest black woman across the globe with a net worth of 2.2 billion US dollar. She is the oldest daughter of Angola’s longtime former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in 2017.

Her spokesperson once termed her as “an independent businesswoman and a private investor representing solely her own interests” which can only be confirmed by her riches.

While her father was the president, Isabel was made the head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, in June 2016, but she was removed from the position by the new president in 2017.

Reports say that Isabel, during her father’s reign, ended up with stakes in Angolan companies including banks and a telecom firm. She owns shares of Portuguese companies, including telecom and cable TV firm Nos SGPS.

  1. Michael Jordan, $1.9 Billion

He is NBA’s greatest player of all-time, with six title winnings with the Chicago Bulls. Not only that, but Michael Jordan is also one of the black billionaires ranked by Forbes with a net worth of 1.9 billion dollars.

According to Forbes, his total playing salary during his career totaled 90 million dollars, but he has earned another 1.4 billion dollars (pre-tax) from corporate partners.

Jordan bought a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 for a grossed-up value of 175 million dollars, and now, the Hornets are well worth 1.05 billion dollars.

With Jordan owning 90 percent of the team, there is no surprise why his wealth is that much. Nonetheless, Jordan also has sponsorship deals with Nike, Hanes, Gatorade and Upper Deck 15 years after hanging up his hightops.

  1. Michael Lee-Chin, $1.8 Billion

Michael Lee-Chin is a self-made billionaire with a net worth of 1.8 billion dollars as of February 2019. He earns his fortune from investing in financial companies like National Commercial Bank Jamaica and AIC Limited.

Lee-Chin acquired AIC in 1987, when it had less than 1 million dollars in assets under management. Under his stewardship, the Canada-based wealth management and mutual fund business managed more than 10 billion dollars in assets by 2002.

Reports, however, show that the company was hit hard by the 2008 recession, and Lee-Chin sold AIC to Canadian financial services group Manulife in 2009 for an undisclosed price.

Nevertheless, he managed to hold onto a valuable 65 percent stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, which now makes up the majority of his wealth.

  1. Abdulsamad Rabiu, $1.2 Billion

Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining, and real estate.

Rabiu merged his privately-owned Kalambaina Cement company with listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled, in December 2018.

His BUA Group also owns Obu Cement, which expanded its production with a new line in 2018.

He began his journey as a business owner in 1988 dealing with the importation of iron, steel, and chemicals.

  1. Folorunsho Alakija, $1.1 Billion

Folorunsho Alakija is Nigeria’s richest woman with a net worth of 1.1 billion dollars as of 2019. Her first company was a fashion label whose customers included the wife of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida.

She is currently the vice chair of a Nigerian oil exploration company; Famfa Oil, whose partners include Chevron and Petrobras. Famfa Oil has a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset.

In 1993, the Nigerian government awarded Alakija’s company an oil prospecting license, which was later converted to an oil mining lease. The Agbami field has been operating since 2008, and Famfa Oil says it will likely operate through 2024.

  1. Mohammed Ibrahim, $1.1 Billion

He is a communications self-made billionaire who was once listed by Forbes in 2013 as one of the most powerful people on earth.

Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim is the founder of Celtel International, a telecom firm he founded in 1998 and one of the first mobile phone companies serving Africa and the Middle East. In 2005, however, Ibrahim sold the company to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company for 3.4 billion dollars and pocketed 1.4 billion dollars.

Since then, he’s focused on fighting corrupt leadership in Africa through the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, directed by his daughter, Hadeel.

Source: Forbes




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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