Who are the richest Africans? Full list of Africa’s 18 ‘dollar billionaires’ for 2021

Masiyiwa Strive

The rich appear to be getting richer, regardless of a ‘minor inconvenience’ like a global pandemic. According to the newly published Forbes Billionaire List, the total wealth of Africa’s richest citizens increased over the past two months – but two of the continent’s highest earners have now lost their ‘dollar billionaire’ status.


In total, there are 18 Africans worth $1 billion or more as it stands. South Africa has four famous faces in the top 10, and five on the list altogether. However, the man at the top of the tree is a Nigerian – and you get no prizes for guessing who it is: Aliko Dangote has been the number one for the last 10 years running.

Nassef Sawiris is some $3.6 billion dollars behind the Nigerian, but we’re sure he won’t be having sleepless nights over that. The second richest person in Africa is then followed by two South Africans – Nicky Oppenheimer and Johann Rupert – who occupy third and fourth spot respectively. Mike Adenuga, the Lagos-based businessman, completes the top five.

Just $200 million separates Patrice Motsepe in ninth from Koos Bekker in tenth. The fifth and final SA citizen to feature on the list is Michiel le Roux, and a $1.2 billion fortune keeps him inside the dollar billionaires club.


To be considered for this list, African-born billionaires must still reside on the continent or at least have their primary business here – hence, Pretoria-born Elon Musk (currently the world’s richest man with a net worth of $200 billion) is nowhere to be seen. As Forbes highlight, a surge in the Nigerian stock market has helped lift Africa’s financial fortunes:

“In Africa – as elsewhere in the world – the wealthiest have come through the pandemic just fine. The continent’s 18 billionaires are worth an average $4.1 billion, 12% more than a year ago, driven in part by Nigeria’s surging stock market.”

“While some got richer by the billions, two from the 2020 list of Africa’s richest dropped below the $1 billion mark. In fact, the only two women billionaires from Africa (Folorunsho Alakija and Isabel Dos Santos) have both fallen off the list.”

“The 18 billionaires from Africa hail from seven different countries. South Africa and Egypt each have five billionaires, followed by Nigeria with three and Morocco with two. Altogether they are worth $73.8 billion, slightly more than the $73.4 billion aggregate worth of the 20 billionaires on last year’s list.”


(All figures from the Forbes Billionaire List, using the current Dollar to Rand exchange rate ($1 to R15) on Thursday 4 February 2021)

Rank Name Net worth Age Nationality
#1 Aliko Dangote $12.1bn / R181.5bn 63 Nigerian
#2 Nassef Sawiris $8.5bn / R127.5bn 60 Egyptian
#3 Nicky Oppenheimer $8bn / R120bn 75 South African
#4 Johann Rupert $7.2bn / R108bn 70 South African
#5 Mike Adenuga $6.3bn / R94.5bn 67 Nigeria
#6 Abdulsamad Rabiu $5.5bn / R82.5bn 60 Nigeria
#7 Issad Rebrab $4.8bn / R72bn 77 Algeria
#8 Naguib Sawiris $3.2bn / R48bn 66 Egpyt
#9 Patrice Motsepe $3bn / R45bn 59 South African
#10 Koos Bekker $2.8bn / R42bn 68 South African
#11 Mohamed Mansour $2.5bn / R37.5bn 73 Egypt
#12 Aziz Akhannouch $2bn / R30bn 60 Morocco
#13 Mohammed Dewji $1.6bn / R24bn 45 Tanzania
#14 Youssef Mansour $1.5bn / R22.5bn 75 Egypt
#15 Othman Benjelloun $1.3bn / R20bn 88 Morocco
#16 = Michiel Le Roux $1.2bn / R18bn 71 South African
#16 = Strive Masiyiwa $1.2bn / R18bn 60 Zimbabwe
#18 Yasseen Mansour $1.1bn / R16.5bn 59 Egypt