Nigerian, Sugar, Cement, Flour
The Nigerian-born Cement and commodities tycoon is the world’s richest black man. Last April, Dangote, 56, who made the bulk of his fortune trading in cement, sugar and flour, announced plans to build a private oil refinery in Nigeria. Expected to be completed in 2016, it will have a refining capacity of 400,000 barrels a day and reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil imports. Dangote started out in business more than 3 decades ago by trading in commodities like cement, flour and sugar with a loan he received from his maternal uncle and went on to build the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa. The company’s crown jewel is Dangote Cement, the $24 billion (Market Capitalization)
Saudi Arabian, Oil Refineries, Mining
Mohammed Al-Amoudi, the son of a Saudi father and Ethiopian mother, made his initial fortune in large-ticket construction projects in Saudi Arabia. He holds both Saudi and Ethiopian citizenships and has been investing heavily in Ethiopia through his private holding company, Midroc Ethiopia Technology Group. Midroc’s assets in Ethiopia include hotels, gold mines, leather factories, pharmaceuticals and cement manufacturing outfits. He also owns a 70% stake in the National Oil Company of Ethiopia. Outside Ethiopia, he owns oil refineries in Morocco and Sweden and oil fields off West Africa.
Nigerian, Oil, Telecoms
Adenuga built his fortune in oil and mobile telecoms. His Conoil Producing Company was one of the first indigenous Nigerian companies to be granted an oil exploration license in the early 90s. The company is the operator of six blocks in the Niger Delta and also owns a25% stake in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) Block 4. He is also the founder and sole owner of Globacom, a Nigerian mobile phone network that has more than 24 million subscribers.
The oldest daughter of Angola’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos is Africa’s richest woman. Her holdings include a 25% stake in Angolan mobile phone company Unitel and a 25% stake in Angolan bank Banco BIC SA. Other holdings include a substantial stake in ZON Optimus, a listed Portuguese cable TV company and just under 20% of Banco BPI, one of Portugal’s largest publicly traded banks.
South African, Mining
South Africa’s first and only black billionaire is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed mining company that has in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper and gold. Motsepe is fast becoming one of Africa’s most prominent philanthropists. In February last year he announced plans to give away half the income generated from assets owned by his family to his charity, the Motsepe Family Foundation which supports causes affecting South Africa’s poor, including education, health, unemployment and advancing women.
Oprah is still the richest African-American person in the world thanks largely to the 25 years of her profitable daytime TV show and earnings from her Harpo production company. Her cable channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) is also cash flow positive for the first time and is enjoying favorable ratings as a result of securing exclusive TV interviews with headline-grabbers like disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Beyonce and gay NBA player Jason Collins. One of America’s most generous philanthropists, Oprah continues to give to education causes and has spent about $100 million on the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
Nigeria’s first female billionaire is the founder of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian company that owns a substantial participating interest in OML 127, a lucrative oil block on the Agbami deep water oilfield in Nigeria. Alakija started off as a secretary in a Nigerian merchant bank in the 1970s, then quit her job to study fashion design in England. Upon her return, she founded a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele, including Maryam Babangida, wife to Nigeria’s former military president Ibrahim Babangida.
Nigerian, Cement, Sugar
Nigeria’s newest billionaire is 54 year-old Abdulsamad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate with interests in sugar refining, cement production, real estate, steel, port concessions, manufacturing, oil gas and shipping. BUA Group’s annual revenues are estimated at over $2 billion. Abdulsamad got his start in business working for his father, Isyaku Rabiu, a successful businessman from Nigeria’s Northern region. He struck out on his own in 1988, importing rice, sugar, edible oils as well as steel and iron rods.
British, Mobile Telecoms, Investments
Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim made his pile when he sold off Celtel, an African mobile phone company he founded, to MTC of Kuwait for $3.4 billion in 2005. In 2007 he founded the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which promotes good governance in Africa and awards the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership – a lifetime award of $5 million given over 10 years to retired African heads of state who have left their countries materially better off and more transparent. He is also the founder of Satya Capital, a Private Equity firm that typically commits over $20 million or more into companies focused on healthcare, financial services, energy and natural resources in Africa.