Here is the African country with the most billionaires

Abu Mubarik February 09, 2024
Patrice Motsepe. Photo via Twitter/CAF

In 2022, Africa’s richest people made a combined fortune of $84.9 billion. The figure declined by $3.1 billion in 2023 to hit $81.8 billion. However, per Forbes‘ latest report on Africa’s wealthiest, their fortunes have rebounded slightly in the past 12 months, recording a combined net worth of $82.4 billion.

Of the 20 wealthiest Africans profiled, Aliko Dangote maintained his position as Africa’s richest man, adding $400 million to $13.9 billion. He has ranked number one for the 13th year in a row. South African luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert came in second with a net worth of $10.1 billion, down from $10.7 billion in 2023. The number three spot was occupied by South African Nicky Oppenheimer (net worth $9.4 billion), who formerly ran diamond mining firm DeBeers.

The Africa Wealth Report 2023 by Henley & Partners found that the “Big 5” wealth markets in Africa, namely South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco, together account for 56% of Africa’s high-net-worth individuals and over 90% of the continent’s billionaires.

The list of African billionaires published by Forbes saw South Africa emerge with the highest number of billionaires. Below are all the recognized dollar billionaires in South Africa.


Johann Rupert has a net worth of $10.1 billion. He is chairman of the Swiss luxury goods firm, Compagnie Financiere Richemont. He also owns a 7% stake in diversified investment firm Remgro – which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, an investment holding co. based in Luxembourg.


Nicky Oppenheimer is worth $9.4 billion. In 2014, he started Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg, which operates chartered flights with its fleet of 3 planes and 2 helicopters. He also owns at least 720 square miles of conservation land across South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

According to Forbes, Oppenheimer sold his 40% stake in diamond firm, DeBeers, to mining group Anglo American, for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012. He was the third generation of his family to run DeBeers and took the company private in 2001. Also, the Oppenheimer family, for 85 years until 2012, occupied a controlling spot in the world’s diamond trade.


As per Forbes, Bekker is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an e-commerce investor and cable TV powerhouse. He retired as the CEO of Naspers in March 2014 and returned as chairman in April 2015. He has a net worth of $2.7 billion.


Patrice Motsepe has a net worth of $2.7 billion. In 2008, he became the first Black African to be featured on the Forbes list of world billionaires at the age of 46. He is also the first South African industrialist and billionaire.

In a CNN interview, Motsepe said his first passion was entrepreneurship. “Growing up in a business environment within a family standing behind conflicts at a young age, I wanted to pursue my first passion which was entrepreneurship,” said the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.


Christoffel Wiese is behind the Pepkor retail empire. He grew his empire by offering bargain prices in South Africa and expanded into other African countries. In 2015, South Africa-based furniture retailer Steinhoff International spent $5.7 billion in cash and stock to acquire Pepkor, according to Forbes.

“He stepped down as Steinhoff chairman in December 2017 after the company disclosed accounting irregularities. Its share price plummeted and Wiese lost his billionaire status,” Forbes noted. “Wiese regained his 9-figure fortune 2022 when he settled his dispute with Steinhoff for cash and stock, including a 5% stake in Pepkor.”

His most valuable asset is Shoprite, but he also holds stakes in real estate firm Collins Property Group, investment holding company Brait and industrial products distributor Invicta Holdings. He also owns about 47% of the shares, according to Forbes. His net worth is $1.2 billion.


Le Roux of South Africa founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns about 11% of the shares. From 2007 to 2016, he served as chairman of the board of Capitec and is now a board member. His net worth is $1.1 billion.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 9, 2024


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