Worldwide, the effect of the pandemic continues to affect the economies of countries as well as the personal finances of individuals. Rising global inflation has eroded the purchasing power of individuals, and increased the cost of doing projects among others.
The world’s billionaires have not been spared of the global economic crisis occasioned by the pandemic. Billionaires in Africa have seen their net worths take a hit, ultimately affecting their global rankings on both Bloomberg and Forbes.
While the global economy has been challenging, some billionaires have managed to weather the storm and have posted decent profits, ultimately increasing their net worth. One of them is Johann Rupert & family, who recorded a gain to its $11.3B net worth, posting a $256 million addition to its net worth. However, others have not been fortunate.
For over a decade, Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote had maintained the top spot as Africa’s richest man. However, the Nigerian business mogul recently lost the top spot to South Africa’s Johann Rupert, according to Bloomberg’s real-time estimates of their net worth.
Dangote with a net worth of $16.7 billion lost $681 million, according to the Bloomberg list.
Nicholas Oppenheimer is the son of two renowned South African business tycoons – Ernest Oppenheimer (grandfather) and Harry Oppenheimer (Father). Nicky is the former Chairman of Anglo American Corporation, founded by his grandfather Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, who also controlled De Beers. Nicky’s father, Harry Oppenheimer, also successfully led De Beers and Anglo-American Corporation for several years.
Nicky joined Anglo American Corporation in 1968, became a Director in 1974, and Deputy Chairman in 1983. He also became the Deputy Chairman of De Beers in 1985 and the Chairman of the Diamond Trading Company – a subsidiary of De Beers. Nicky became the third wealthiest person in Africa and the second in South Africa, with a net worth of $8.5 billion as of 29/01/2023.
With a real-time net worth of $8.95 billion, Nicky has lost $150 million, according to Bloomberg.
Naguib Sawiris is also a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family. His brother Nassef is the second richest person in Africa. He built a fortune in telecom, selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom (now Veon) in a multibillion-dollar transaction.
He’s chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, which has stakes in a major asset manager in Egypt and an Italian internet company, among others. He is also a majority owner of Euronews. He’s also developed a luxury resort called Silversands in Grenada.
According to Bloomberg, he has lost $99.4 million from his $5.65 billion net worth.
Sawiris is the Chairman of Orascom Construction Industries – one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing firms in the world. It has plants in Texas and Iowa and its shares are traded on the Euronext Amsterdam bourses.
Orascom Construction Industries also operates Orascom Construction, which is an engineering and construction contractor. The firm trades on the Cairo and Nasdaq Dubai bourses and is one of the largest players in the engineering and construction sector in the Middle East region.
One of his most valuable assets is a 7% stake in Adidas. He also acquired a 5% stake in the New York-listed firm, Madison Square Garden Sports, which owns the New York Knicks, Rangers, Liberty the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League, and the Westchester Knicks. He also owns a stake in cement giant Lafarge Holcim.
According to Bloomberg’s real-time rankings, the Egyptian lost $8.41 million from his $7.39 billion net worth.
Natie Kirsh is a South African billionaire. The 91-year-old billionaire controls a vast food and beverage conglomerate. One of his main sources of income comes from his 75% stake in Jetro Holdings. As per Bloomberg, Kirsh has a net worth of $7.21 billion but has seen it drop by $95.8 thousand.