Tanzania’s Mohammed Dewji (Mo) is the only billionaires in East Africa to feature in the top 20 list of Africa richest persons.
The youngest billionaire heads Mohammed Enterprise Ltd (METL), a conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s, was ranked 14thon the list of most wealth persons in Africa issued by Forbes Magazine Thursday.
The list shows Mr Mo, chairman of Simba Sports Club Ltd, net wealth increased by 600 million US dollars from 1.4billion US dollars in January 2017 to 1.9billion US dollars as of Thursday.
METL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa.
“The METL operates in at least six African countries and has ambitions to expand to several more,” Forbes report shows.
Mr Mo is the only billionaire, signed the Giving Pledge in 2016, promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
In a per country ranking, Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two. Forbes found one billionaire each from Algeria, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
The report shows, for the eighth year in a row, AlikoDangote of Nigeria is Africa’s richest person.
His estimated 10.3 billion US dollars net worth, however, is nearly 2.0 billion US dollars less than a year ago, primarily due to a roughly 20 per cent drop in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.
The continent’s second richest is Mike Adenuga, also of Nigeria, worth an estimated 9.2 billion US dollars. Mr 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 US dolars in January 2018 as a result of more detailed information provided by him about his assets.
Number three in Africa is diamond heir Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa. His grandfather founded diamond mining firm DeBeers, which he ran and then sold to mining giant Anglo American for in 2012. He is currently worth an estimated 7.3 billion US dollars, down from 7.7 billion US dollars a year ago.
Among the few on the list who are richer than a year ago is Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, worth an estimated 2.3 billion US dollars, up from 1.6 billion US dollars last year.
Mr Masiyiwa’s richer due to a rise in the share price of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and a new investment that boosted the value of his stake in fiber optic and satellite services firm Liquid Telecom.
Two of the 20 billionaires are women: Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos; and FolorunshoAlakija of Nigeria.