73-year old former Nigerian Defense Minister, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, has joined the enviable list of richest men and women in Africa with a net worth of $600 million. Hence, the retired general and philanthropist is ranked 24th on the latest Forbes African billionaires’ list released yesterday.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s mega entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, is top of the list for the second year running, with a net worth of $12 billion, up from $10.1 billion in November 2011.
Most of his net worth lay in publicly-traded Dangote Cement, which operates in 14 African countries. Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa came in once again as the second richest, with a $6.4 billion fortune. Oppenheimer decided in late 2011 to sell his family’s 40 per cent stake in diamond producer, DeBeers to mining company Anglo American for $5.1 billion. The deal got final regulatory approval in July 2012, marking the end of 85 years of Oppenheimer family control of DeBeers.
Notable newcomers include the first two women: Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria, who joins due to her stake in the prolific Agbami oil field; and Isabel dos Santos of Angola, an entrepreneur, investor and daughter of that country’s president. South Africa’s Desmond Sacco debuts as a billionaire thanks to his shares in mining concern Assore, which he chairs.
Another South African newcomer: Koos Bekker, who since 1997 has turned media group Naspers into a true multinational firm, taking neither a salary nor a bonus along the way. His $450 million net worth lay mostly in vested Naspers options.
The Africa’s billionaires list featured Nigerian business moguls, like Mike Adenuga, who ranks the fifth position with a net worth of $4.6 billion from his telecommunications and oil companies; Jim Ovia emerged as the 19th wealthiest man in the continent with a net worth of $825 million; Abdulsamad Rabiu, who heads BUA Group is ranked 21st with a net worth of $675 million.
Folorunsho Alakija, who is one of the two women that made the list, ranked 24th with Danjuma, with a net worth of $600 million from her oil business, while 68-year old former banker and Honey Well Group founder, Oba Otudeko, came next with a net worth of $575 million.