According to the Forbes real-time billionaire list, 14 of the 15 Black billionaires are self-made, meaning they built their wealth from the ground up. However, even at that, there is still a large racial wealth gap between Black and White people—even at the highest levels of financial achievement.
Unfortunately, little progress has been made regarding the proportion of Black billionaires, with Black billionaires having made up less than 1% of all billionaires worldwide since 2011.
Let’s look at the five Africans on the list of the world’s Black Billionaires in 2021
Net worth: $11.5 billion
Aliko Dangote is the wealthiest Black billionaire and has held the title since 2013. He owns 85% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer. The company’s stock price went up more than 30% over the last year. In addition, Dangote also has investments in salt and sugar manufacturing companies.
Net worth: $6.1 billion
Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, built his fortune in telecom and oil production. His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the third-largest operator in Nigeria, with 43 million subscribers, and his oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta. Adenuga got an MBA at Pace University in New York, supporting himself as a student by working as a taxi driver. He made his first million at age 26, selling lace and distributing soft drinks.
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate. In early January 2020, Rabiu merged his privately-owned Obu Cement company with listed firm Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange; Rabiu owns 98.5% of it. Rabiu, the son of a businessman, inherited land from his father. He set up his own business in 1988, importing iron, steel and chemicals.
Net worth: $3.1 billion
Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, became a billionaire in 2008 – the first black African on the Forbes list. In 2016, he launched a new private equity firm, African Rainbow Capital, focused on investing in Africa. 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 law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg and then started a contracting business doing mine scut work. In 1994, he bought low-producing gold mine shafts and later turned them profitable.
Net worth: $1.4 billion
Masiyiwa overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998. He owns just over 50% of the publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group. Masiyiwa also owns just over half of the private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fibre optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa. His other assets include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa. He and his wife Tsitsi founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho.