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Mapped: A Snapshot of Wealth in Africa



Map infographic showing the top locations of private wealth in Africa

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Mapped: A Snapshot of Wealth in Africa

The continent of Africa contains more than 50 countries, but just five account for more than half of total wealth on the continent: South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya.

Despite recent setbacks in Africa’s largest economies, wealth creation has been strong in a number of areas, and total private wealth is now estimated to be US$2.1 trillion . There also an estimated 21 billionaires in Africa today.

Drawing from the latest Africa Wealth Report , here’s a look at where all that wealth is concentrated around the continent.

A Country-Level Look at Wealth in Africa

South Africa is a still a major stronghold of wealth in Africa, with a robust luxury real estate market and ample wealth management services. The country is also ranked second on the continent in per capita wealth. That said, the country has faced challenges in recent years.

An estimated 4,500 high net worth individuals (wealth of US$1 million or more) have left South Africa over the past decade, migrating to places like the UK, Australia, and the United States. In one stark data point, the report points out that “there are 15 South African born billionaires in the world, but only 5 of them still live in South Africa.”

Here is how major African countries compare in terms of per capita wealth.

Rank Country Wealth per Capita (US$)
#1 🇲🇺 Mauritius $34,000
#2 🇿🇦 South Africa $10,970
#3 🇳🇦 Namibia $9,320
#4 🇧🇼 Botswana $7,880
#5 🇲🇦 Morocco $3,380
#6 🇪🇬 Egypt $3,000
#7 🇬🇭 Ghana $1,890
#8 🇰🇪 Kenya $1,700
#9 🇦🇴 Angola $1,620
#10 🇨🇮 Côte d'Ivoire $1,610
#11 🇳🇬 Nigeria $1,100
#12 🇹🇿 Tanzania $940
#13 🇷🇼 Rwanda $850
#14 🇺🇬 Uganda $820
#15 🇿🇲 Zambia $760
#16 🇲🇿 Mozambique $650
#17 🇪🇹 Ethiopia $540

Mauritius is Africa’s wealthiest nation on a per capita basis. Here are a few reasons why the island nation comes out on top:

  • HNWI growth – Wealthy individuals have flocked to Mauritius in recent years
  • Ease of doing business – Mauritius ranked 13th worldwide in World Bank’s Doing Business Report
  • Low taxes – There is no inheritance tax or capital gains tax in the country
  • Safety – Mauritius was recently rated by New World Wealth as the safest country in Africa
  • Financial sector – A growing local financial services sector and stock market (SEMDEX)

As a result, Mauritius has seen the strongest growth in total private wealth over the past decade, followed by Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Bar chart showing 10-year wealth growth in African countries

On the flip side of the equation, Nigeria —which is Africa’s largest economy—saw a steep drop in total wealth. The country has struggled in recent years with high unemployment, corruption, and an over-reliance on crude oil.

The Big Picture

Over time, African countries are becoming less dependent on extractive industries, and business conditions are continuing to improve nearly across the board. These tailwinds, combined with the continent’s favorable demographics, point to a bright economic future for Africa.

The outlook for private wealth on the continent is largely positive as well. Total private wealth held in Africa is expected to reach US$3 trillion by 2031, an increase of close to 40%.

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Ranked: Who Are the Richest People in Africa?

This infographic ranks the wealthiest 15 billionaires on the African continent.



This graphic ranks the richest people in Africa. Aliko Dangote from Nigeria leads the group.

Ranked: Who Are the Richest People in Africa?

The African continent is home to 46 billionaires, the second-lowest total of any global region.

The number of wealthy individuals in Africa is growing, however. Total private wealth is expected to rise 30% over the next decade, led by growth in the billionaire and millionaire segments.

Visualized here are Africa’s richest, using data collected by Forbes , on billionaires who reside on the continent and have their primary business there.

Breaking Down Africa’s Billionaires

The richest man in Africa is also the richest Black man in the world. Once a small sugar trader, Aliko Dangote now has a net worth of $13.5 billion. He is the 86th richest person in the world, and single-handedly makes up 25% of the total wealth of African billionaires.

His company, the Dangote Group is now an African conglomerate with interests in a range of sectors, including sugar, cement, and real estate.

Rank Name Net Worth (billions, USD) Industry Citizenship
1 Aliko Dangote $13.5 Manufacturing 🇳🇬 Nigeria
2 Johann Rupert & family $10.7 Fashion & Retail 🇿🇦 South Africa
3 Nicky Oppenheimer & family $8.4 Metals & mining 🇿🇦 South Africa
4 Abdulsamad Rabiu $7.6 Diversified 🇳🇬 Nigeria
5 Nassef Sawiris $7.3 Construction & Engineering 🇪🇬 Egypt
6 Mike Adenuga $6.3 Diversified 🇳🇬 Nigeria
7 Issad Rebrab & family $4.6 Food & Beverage 🇩🇿 Algeria
8 Naguib Sawiris $3.3 Telecom 🇪🇬 Egypt
9 Patrice Motsepe $3.2 Metals & mining 🇿🇦 South Africa
10 Mohamed Mansour $2.9 Diversified 🇪🇬 Egypt
11 Koos Bekker $2.6 Media & Entertainment 🇿🇦 South Africa
12 Strive Masiyiwa $1.9 Telecom 🇿🇼 Zimbabwe
13 Mohammed Dewji $1.5 Diversified 🇹🇿 Tanzania
13 Aziz Akhannouch & family $1.5 Diversified 🇲🇦 Morocco
13 Youssef Mansour $1.5 Diversified 🇪🇬 Egypt

The top three—Alike Dangote, Johann Rupert, and Nicky Oppenheimer—account for 40% of the total wealth of those ranked.

A Look Through the Rest of the Richest People in Africa

At number two on the list is Johann Rupert . The chairman of Swiss luxury goods company, Compagnie Financiere Richemont, started his career with a banking apprenticeship in New York, before returning to South Africa and eventually pivoting to retail.

Through the rest of those ranked, a range of diverse business activities have allowed these billionaires to garner their wealth.

Nicky Oppenheimer (3rd) and Patrice Motsepe (9th)—have made fortunes in the mining industry, a sector which contributes nearly 10% to sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP. Meanwhile, Naguib Sawiris (8th) and Strive Masiyiwa (12th) have built telecom empires.

Billionaire Wealth Mirrors Country Wealth

Only seven out of the 54 African countries are represented on Africa’s rich list, and even amongst them, three countries (Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria) account for more than two-thirds of the top-ranked billionaires.

Country Rank in African Economy Individuals on Top 15 Billionaire List
🇳🇬 Nigeria #1 3
🇿🇦 South Africa #2 4
🇪🇬 Egypt #3 4

The home countries for these billionaires reflects the nations’ contribution to the African economy as a whole. Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt have the top three GDPs in Africa.

Algeria—where Issad Rebrab (7th) is from—is ranked fourth, and Morocco—where Aziz Akhannouch (13th) is based—is fifth.

What’s Next For Africa’s Richest?

Africa has routinely been touted to become a future economic powerhouse as its demographic dividend pays off in the next few decades. However, its biggest challenge will be developing its economic and social infrastructure to retain local talent to make their fortunes at home.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Forbes.

Data note: Forbes calculated net worths using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 13, 2023. For privately held businesses, they used estimates of revenues or profits and applied prevailing price-to-sale or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies. Some list members grew richer or poorer within weeks or days of their measurement date.

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