Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian commodity trader, who owns facilities throughout Africa is once again the richest African as rated by Forbes Magazine
1 Aliko Dangote, Nigeria
Business: Food and cement
Nigerian commodities titan Aliko Dangote is also Africa's cement king. In late 2010, he listed Dangote Cement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The company integrated Dangote's cement investments across Africa, including Benue Cement, formerly listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It's now the largest company on the Nigerian exchange, with a market capitalization of $10 billion. In August, Dangote received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to invest $4 billion to build a new cement facility in the Ivory Coast. He's also building a $115 million cement plant in Cameroon, and owns plants in Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa, among others. Dangote started trading commodities more than three decades ago after receiving a business loan from his uncle. He then built the Dangote Group - a leading West African conglomerate with interests in cement manufacturing, sugar refineries, flour milling and salt processing. Venerable philanthropist has given away millions to education, health and social causes.
2 Nicky Oppenheimer, South Africa
Africa's diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer made a momentous decision in early November to sell his family's 40% stake in De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, to mining behemoth Anglo American for $5.1 billion. (Anglo American already owns 45% of DeBeers.) The all-cash deal will mark the end of the Oppenheimers' control of De Beers, a relationship that began when Nicky's grandfather, Ernest Oppenheimer, took over the firm in 1927. After struggling through the recession as demand for luxury goods sagged, De Beers appears to have righted the ship. Revenues surged 53% to nearly $5.9 billion in 2010 vs. 2009. Such impressive performance has led some analysts to assert that the offer from Anglo American, a firm that was founded by Nicky's grandfather in 1917, undervalues De Beers. However, says Nicky, "Anglo American is the natural home for our stake." Oppenheimer's passions include flying helicopters, cricket, and conservation. He owns the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the largest private game reserve in South Africa.
3 Nassef Sawiris, Egypt
Nassef Sawiris runs Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt's most valuable publicly-traded company, which was founded by father Onsi. The construction and fertilizer company's shares fell almost one-third during the protests leading up to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in February. They later rallied to pre-revolution levels, but have slipped again. In addition to a sizable loan, the World Bank's IFC has made a $50 million equity investment in the company. In October, Sawiris hooked up with Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's EBX Group to develop a nitrogen fertilizer plant in Brazil. Sawiris also owns big stakes in cement giant Lafarge, and Texas Industries.
4 Johann Rupert & family, South Africa
Business: Luxury goods
Johann Rupert is South Africa's luxury goods billionaire. He serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Richemont, a Swiss holding company that controls brands such as Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc and Chloé. In 2010 Richemont acquired online fashion portal Net-a-Porter for $343 million. Sales at the Richemont group have grown more than 30% since earlier this year, driven largely by economic resurgence off of recession lows and increased demand for luxury goods in Asia. Rupert also chairs South Africa-based Remgro Ltd and Reinet Investments Manager. The latter was created in 2009 as a home for Remgro's stake in British American Tobacco after the firm went public. While British American Tobacco still accounts for nearly 85% of Reinet's net asset value, the firm is taking steps to diversify by investing British American dividend payments across several industries. An avid golfer, Rupert had only played 21 times this year through mid-October due to his busy work schedule. He recently made headlines due to his opposition to Royal Dutch Shell's planned hydraulic fracturing operations in the Karoo region of South Africa, where he owns extensive conservation land.
5 Mike Adenuga, Nigeria
A reclusive tycoon, Mike Adenuga runs Conoil Producing, the first Nigerian company to strike oil in commercial quantities in the early 1990s. Today Conoil Producing is Nigeria's largest oil exploration company, producing an estimated 100,000 barrels per day. The "Guru" also owns Globacom, Nigeria's 2nd largest mobile telecom operator. He made his first million at the age of 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks, but hit it big through the benefaction of Nigeria's former military president, Ibrahim Babangida. During Babangida's regime, Adenuga cornered lucrative contracts to build military barracks and was awarded an oil prospecting license. Notoriously private and extremely security conscious, Adenuga moves with a retinue of bodyguards and gets chauffeured only in bulletproof cars. In Nigeria he is widely believed to be a proxy for the financial interests of former president Babangida.
6 Miloud Chaabi, Morocco
Business: Housing and hotels
Miloud Chaabi got his start in 1948 developing housing, then expanded through Ynna Holding into hotels, supermarkets, and renewable energy. Chaabi was a member of Parliament, where he was dubbed the "red capitalist," when he allied himself with the socialist party. He doesn't shy away from lashing out in the press at competitors and corrupt practices. In the wake of the Tunisian uprising, Chaabi said that Morocco had its own Trabelsis (the deposed Tunisian dictator's in-laws who allegedly enriched themselves). He railed at billionaires "born overnight...who treat themselves with land they obtain at symbolic prices." In February, he marched to Parliament with protesters demanding an end to political and business corruption—and distributed his own bottled water at the demonstration.
7 Naguib Sawiris, Egypt
Naguib Sawiris, the eldest son of Egyptian billionaire Onsi Sawiris, built Orascom Telecom, then sold the family's stake to Russian and emerging market telecom giant VimpelCom in April for $6.5 billion in shares and cash, becoming one of VimpelCom's largest shareholders in the process. He's looking to invest in telecom again. He also delved into Egyptian politics, forming the Free Egyptians party in April to promote free markets and a secular platform. His ill-advised tweet in June picturing a bearded Mickey Mouse and a veiled Minnie earned him death threats from Muslim extremists.
8 Christoffel Wiese, South Africa
South Africa's Christoffel Wiese, known as Christo, is the chairman and the largest single shareholder of the continent's biggest retailer, low-price supermarket chain Shoprite. He also owns 44% of discount clothes, shoes and textiles chain Pepkor (slogan: "Making the desirable affordable"), where he sits on the board. In March, he bought several hundred million dollars of shares in private equity investor Brait. Other interests: Wiese restored a South African farm estate and remodeled it into a five-star hotel, Lanzerac Manor & Winery. He replanted the vineyards around it, created a modern cellar and has been making wine. Also owns wine producer Lourensford Estate and a private game reserve in the Kalahari.
9 Onsi Sawiris, Egypt
Business: Construction, telecoms
Onsi Sawiris is the patriarch of Egypt's wealthiest family. The Egyptian government nationalized his first construction business in 1971. Undeterred, he rebuilt what became Orascom Construction Industries. His son Nassef took over in 1995. Another son, Naguib, built a separate telecom company, while son Samih went into hotels and real estate. Onsi Sawiris now owns shares in Russian mobile operator VimpelCom, following its acquisition of the family stake in Orascom Telecom in April 2011. All three Sawiris sons appear on the Forbes Richest Africans list; Nassef and Naguib are billionaires.
10 Patrice Motsepe, South Africa
Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe is South Africa's first and only black billionaire. He built a $1.8 billion (sales) publicly traded mining conglomerate, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), with interests in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper and gold. The share price of ARM has dropped more than 20% since mid-February, shaving $800 million from Motsepe's net worth on the 2011 Forbes World's Billionaires list. Born in the sprawling black township of Soweto and then trained as a lawyer, he became the first black partner at Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg, and then started a contracting business doing mine scut work. He bought low-producing gold mine shafts in 1994 and turned them profitable using lean management style. He benefited from South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws, which mandate that companies be at least 26% black-owned in order to get a government mining license. Motsepe also holds a stake in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company outside Cape Town; he sits on the board.
News and Pictures Source: Forbes Magazine