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Dangote Tops 2019 Forbes African Billionaires List Despite $2bn Loss

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By Toby Prince

Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote retained his position as Africa’s richest man in the Forbes list of African billionaires released by Forbes on Wednesday.

Four people fell off the annual list as the number of billionaires on the continent shrunk to just 20, down from 23 a year ago while one returned to the ranks after a four-year absence.

All but four members of the list have smaller fortunes than a year ago.

For the eighth year in a row, Dangote is Africa’s richest person. His estimated $10.3 billion net worth, however, is nearly $2 billion less than a year ago, primarily due to a roughly 20% drop in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.

Nigeria also occupies the second slot with Mike Adenuga, worth an estimated $9.2 billion.

Adenuga owns Globacom, which is Nigeria’s third-largest mobile phone network, plus oil exploration firm Conoil Producing, extensive real estate holdings in Nigeria and a network of 12,000 cell phone towers.

His net worth has climbed dramatically from $5.3 billion in January 2018 as a result of more detailed information provided by him about his assets.

Nigerian cement mogul Abdulsamad Rabiu, who runs and owns the BUA Group, returns to the list for the first time since 2015.

He merged his Kalambaina Cement firm into publicly traded Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled, in late 2018. Rabiu now owns 97% of the list entity.

Kalambaina, which operates a new cement production facility, started selling cement in mid-2018.

Separately, Rabiu’s OBU Cement recently expanded its operations, adding a new production line.

Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija is one of the two women on the list,

Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is Africa’s richest woman at number 8, while Alakija holds joint 19th position with South Africa’s banking mogul, Michiel Le Roux.

Alakija owns a stake in one of the most productive oil fields in Nigeria, currently operated by Chevron.

Her net worth dropped due a decline in the value of the oil field, in part because its production has levelled off.

Altogether the 20 African tycoons are worth $68.7 billion, down from $75.4 billion for the 2018 list.

However, the average net worth for each list member this year has climbed to $3.4 billion from $3.3 billion in early 2018.

The Forbes African billionaire list tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary businesses there, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen, and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen.

It is calculated in dollars.

Forbes 2019 top 20 African billionaires

#1           Aliko Dangote    $10.3 B  61           cement, sugar, flour

#2           Mike Adenuga  $9.2 B    65           telecom, oil

#3           Nicky Oppenheimer       $7.3 B    73           diamonds

#4           Nassef Sawiris   $6.3 B    57           construction, chemicals

#5           Johann Rupert  $5.3 B    68           luxury goods

#6           Issad Rebrab      $3.7 B    75           food

#7           Naguib Sawiris   $2.9 B    64           telecom

#8           Koos Bekker       $2.3 B    66           media, investments

#8           Isabel dos Santos             $2.3 B    45           investments

#8           Mohamed Mansour       $2.3 B    70           diversified

#8           Strive Masiyiwa $2.3 B    57           telecom

#8           Patrice Motsepe              $2.3 B    56           mining

#13         Aziz Akhannouch             $2.1 B    58           petroleum, diversified

#14         Mohammed Dewji          $1.9 B    43           diversified

#15         Othman Benjelloun        $1.7 B    86           banking, insurance

#16         Abdulsamad Rabiu          $1.6 B    58           cement, sugar

#17         Yasseen Mansour            $1.5 B    57           diversified

#18         Youssef Mansour             $1.2 B    73           diversified

#19         Folorunsho Alakija           $1.1 B    68           oil

#19         Michiel Le Roux $1.1 B    69           banking

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