10. Patrice Motsepe, 53 years, $1.1 Billion, South Africa
African Rainbow Minerals founder and chairman Patrice Motsepe,. a South African, became Africa’s first black billionaire in 2009. His net worth is down $1 billion since a year ago, due to a sharp drop in the stock price of ARM–which mines and processes iron, manganese, chrome, platinum, copper, nickel, coal and gold– following tumbling commodities prices and a rise in the cost of labor and electricity. I Motsepe also has a stake in Sanlam, a listed financial services firm, and is the president and owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. He became the first black partner at the Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg, and then started a contracting business doing mine scut work. In 1994, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and turned them profitable. 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, benefited Motsepe. His company Ubuntu Botho Investments is partnering with Sanlam to start an Africa-focused private equity firm, with plans to raise $500 million by early 2016. The mining magnate is also the first African to sign Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, in which he promised to give at least half his fortune to charity.
9. Femi Otedola, 53 years, $1.6 Billion, Nigeria
Femi Otedola of Nigeria is the controlling shareholder of publicly traded Forte Oil, Africa’s largest oil marketing company measured by retail network. Originally a Nigerian subsidiary of British Petroleum (BP), Forte Oil has more than 500 gas stations across the country. The company also owns oil storage depots and manufactures its own line of engine oils. Forte oil is making a play in power generation. In 2013, Otedola led the company to purchase a government-owned stake in a 414-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Kogi state in central Nigeria. The stock price has rallied more than 45% since last year particularly on the back of a September 2015 deal in which Swiss commodities giant Mercuria said it would acquire 17% stake in Forte Oil for $200 million; the transaction is not yet complete. Otedola’s daughter, Ifeoluwa, is a fast rising disc jockey who goes by the moniker ‘DJ Cuppy’. She was the official disc jockey during the May 2015 inauguration of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. Otedola is a fitness buff; he spends at least an hour in the gym every day.
8. Tony Elumelu, 52 years, $700 Million, Nigeria
Nigerian entrepreneur and investor Tony Elumelu owns a controlling interest in Transcorp, a publicly traded Nigerian conglomerate with interests in hospitality, agriculture, oil production and power generation. He came into the limelight in 1997 when he led a small group of investors to take over a small, floundering commercial bank in Lagos. He turned it profitable within a few years and in 2005 he merged it with the United Bank for Africa. That banking group now has subsidiaries in 20 African countries and in the U.S and U.K. Elumelu also owns extensive real estate across Nigeria and a minority stake in mobile telecom firm MTN Nigeria, among other assets.
7. King Mohammed VI, 52 years, $5.7 Billion, Morocco
From his late father King Hassan, King Mohammed VI of Morocco inherited a 35% stake in Societe Nationale d’Investissement (SNI), a holding company that has stakes in several publicly traded companies, including the country’s largest bank, Attijariwafa; mining company Managem Group; sugar producer Cosumar; and dairy firm Centrale Danone. Forbes’ estimate of the king’s net worth is up significantly from a year ago due to new information about the value of SNI’s assets.
6. Adrian Gore, 51 years, $480 Million, South Africa
Adrian Gore is founder and CEO of South Africa’s leading medical insurer, Discovery Holdings, which provides health insurance for more than 200,000 companies and close to 2 million people. In 1992, Adrian Gore raised seed funding from Laurie Dippenaar, a cofounder of Rand Merchant Bank, and founded the South African medical insurer after years of working with Liberty Life. Discovery is known for its Vitality unit, which rewards members with cheap flights and other perks; bigger discounts go to those who acquire points by going regularly to the gym, eating vegetables and taking regular medical tests. Discovery, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, also has operations in the United Kingdom and the United States. Gore is the company’s largest individual shareholder with an estimated 8% stake. A fitness buff, he often jogs the 6 miles between home and work.
5. Rostam Azizi, 51 years, $900 Million, Tanzania
Rostam Azizi of Tanzania owns nearly 18% of Vodacom Tanzania, the country’s largest mobile phone company, with 10 million subscribers. In May 2014 he sold 17% of Vodacom Tanzania to Vodacom Group of South Africa for an estimated $250 million. He also owns Caspian mining, a contract mining firm in Tanzania, and real estate in Dubai and Oman. Azizi got his start in his family’s trading business and then branched out on his own.
4. Stephen Saad, 51 years, $1.24 Billion, South Africa
As founder of Aspen Pharmacare, Stephen Saad of South Africa runs the continent’s largest pharmaceuticals maker. In September 2015, the company reported a 46% jump in revenue generated by its international business, a sign of the company’s impact outside of the country. Traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Aspen Pharmacare markets generic medicines in 150 countries. Saad became a millionaire at age 29 after he sold his share in the drug business Covan Zurich for $3 million. He cofounded Aspen in 1997 and is chief executive and head of its board. In 2012, Saad became chairman of The Sharks, a Durban rugby team. He spends his free time at Exeter, his private game reserve at Sabi Sands, which is adjacent to Kruger National Park, the largest national park in South Africa.
3. Mohamed Bensalah, 45 years, $800 Million, Morocco
Mohamed Bensalah of Morocco heads Holmarcom Group, a family holding company founded by his late father. His three sisters all occupy positions within the group, which owns stakes in leading Moroccan insurer Atlanta, water bottler Oulmes, and airline Air Arabia Maroc. Holmarcom boosted its stake in Atlanta in 2014 by 30%, making the insurer its single biggest holding. Atlanta’s net earnings were up nearly 58% in 2014 on revenues of $315 million. Sorbonne-educated Bensalah took over Holmarcom upon his father’s death in 1993, when he was just 23.
2. Isabel dos Santos, 42 years, $3.4 Billion, Angola
Isabel dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angola’s longtime president and, by virtue of her investments in Portugal and Angola, is Africa’s richest woman. Though her representatives deny that her holdings have any connection with her father, Forbes research found that her father, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, transferred stakes in several Angolan companies to her. Her assets in Angola include 25% of Unitel, the country’s largest mobile phone network, and a stake in a bank, Banco BIC. In Portugal she owns a nearly 7% chunk of oil and gas firm Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim), and nearly 19% of Banco BPI, the country’s fourth-largest bank. She is also a controlling shareholder of Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS (formerly called Zon). In May 2015, media reported that she spent slightly more than $200 million to buy a stake in Portuguese equipment firm Efacec Power Solutions. In October 2015, four members of the European Parliament publicly called for an investigation into Isabel dos Santos’ investments in Portugal, questioning the legality of the purchase, saying that the method of payment –a transfer of funds by the Angolan government – “raises the possibility the Angolan State is indirectly and illegally financing private investments of his daughter Isabel dos Santos.” A spokesperson for Dos Santos did not respond to an email requesting comment on the allegations.
1. Mohammed Dewji, 40 years, $1.11 Billion, Tanzania
Mohammed Dewji is the CEO of METL, a Tanzanian conglomerate his father founded in the 1970s. It is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in East, Southern and Central Africa. His Mo Cola, priced below Coca Cola, competes with Tanzanian tycoon and Africa’s Richest list member Said Salim Bakhresa’s Azam Cola. Dewji retired from Tanzania’s parliament in early 2015 after completing his two terms. He supported the ruling CCM Party, whose candidate John Magufulli won the election to become Tanzania’s president in late October 2015. His Mo Dewji Foundation provides scholarships for poor Tanzanian children.