Dangote regains top spot on Forbes’ 2024 billionaires list in Africa

In the 2024 Forbes list of Africa’s Richest billionaires released, Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group, has maintained his status as the wealthiest individual in Africa, boasting a net worth of $13.9 billion.

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, founded and chairs the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa. It is the largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest on the African continent. The group employs more than 30,000 people, generating revenue in excess of US$4.1 billion in 2017.

Forbes reported a modest recovery in the fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest individuals over the past 12 months, counteracting the previous year’s decline, although they still fell short of their all-time highs. According to the New Jersey-based media outlet, the combined net worth of the 20 billionaires on the 2024 Forbes list of Africa’s Richest reached $82.4 billion, showing an increase of $900 million from last year’s $81.5 billion.

South Africa claimed six spots on this year’s ranking, followed by Egypt with five and Nigeria with four. Algeria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe each have one billionaire on the list, while Morocco has two.

Forbes observed that Africa remains a challenging environment to build and maintain a billion-dollar fortune due to global investors’ wariness of its stock exchanges, businesses struggling against strained economies, poor infrastructure, and volatile exchange rates.

Similarly, political dynamics can also significantly impact private fortunes, creating a complex landscape. The report highlighted factors such as central banks hiking rates, currency weakness, tax increases, and multiple coups as contributors to a challenging environment for foreign investors.

In this challenging context, entrenched family fortunes or those with close ties to government continue to dominate the ranks of Africa’s richest. Aliko Dangote secured the top spot for the 13th consecutive year, with his fortune rising by $400 million to $13.9 billion, despite the political uncertainty following the February presidential election and the devaluation of the naira in 2023 offsetting the rising share price of Dangote Cement.

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