Nigerian Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has been listed among Bloomberg’s 50 most influential people who have impacted the world in 2017. He is the only black African named in the list which includes South African-born SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and anti-nuclear weapons advocate Beatrice Fihn.
Dangote was honoured for his $4 billion dollar investment in Nigeria to increase the country’s food production capacity. According to the Bloomberg Businessweek editor Megan Murphy, “each person chosen has demonstrated measurable change over the past year.”
The African billionaire aims to lessen food imports into Nigeria by focusing on domestic production of sugar and dairy while targeting the production of 500 million litres of milk by 2019. Earlier this year he also announced a $50 billion plan to invest in renewable energy.
Ranked 51st richest person in the world in 2016 with a net worth of $15.4 billion, Dangote currently has a net worth of $12.2 billion. The fall has been attributed to the devaluation of the Nigerian currency.
There are 21 African billionaires living in Africa and they are worth a combined $70 billion. The second richest African in 2016 is South African diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer who ranks 199th with $7 billion, followed by another South African, luxury goods tycoon Johann Rupert who ranks 237th with $6.1 billion.
Nigerian telecom tycoon Mike Adenuga ranked 250th with a net worth of $5.8 billion, followed by Egypt’s richest billionaire Nassef Sawiris who ranked 269th and worth $5.6 billion. Retail magnate South African Christoffel Wiese ranked 269th with a net worth of $5.6 billion.
Only two female billionaires in Africa are on the list of richest persons in the world including former Angolan president’s daughter Isabel dos Santos – who is Africa’s richest woman – and Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija, vice chair of Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa Oil.
Tanzanian Mohammed Dewji is Africa’s youngest billionaire at age 41. He is CEO of conglomerate METL, which his father founded in the 1970s.
Onsi Sawiris of Egypt is the continent’s oldest billionaire at age 86 and the father of two other African billionaires — Nassef and Naguib Sawiris.
Thirteen out of Africa’s 21 billionaires have self-made fortunes, while the other eight inherited their fortunes.
They hail from 7 countries: South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Angola, and Tanzania.