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Africa’s richest men in 2009

By The Independent Team

Mohammed Al Amoudi (Ethiopia)

African Rank No.1 – World Rank No. 43 – Wealth $9 billion

Ethiopian born Mohammed Al Amoudi is this year the Richest Man in Africa. Al Amoudi who is based in Saudi Arabia has kept his US $9 billion fortune through these troubled times. He moves up from No.4 the year before. His interests are spread across Sweden, the Middle East and his home country of Ethiopia.

Nicky Oppenheimer & Family (S. Africa)

African Rank No.2 – World Rank No 98 – Wealth $5 billion

They say diamonds are forever and the Oppenheimer family proved this as they remain as a mainstay of Africa’s rich list. They were aided by having sold a significant part of their Anglo American empire at the peak of the market.

Nassef Sawiris (Egypt)

African No.3 – World Rank 196 – Wealth $3.1 billion

Nassef may have only dropped one position in the list but losing that one place was accompanied by a loss of $7.9 billion. His wealth has been hit by twin blows of falling valuation of his construction interest, Orascom Constructions which has dropped over 80% from its peak, and falling oil prices which have affected many of the firm’s Middle Eastern clients. He in 2008 ranked No.2 and World Rank No.68 at worth of US$11 billion.

Naguib Sawiris (Egypt)

African No.4 – World Rank No.205 – Wealth $3.0 billion

Last year there were three Sawiris brothers in the list Naguib, Nassef and Samih. Move forward one year, mix in a global financial crisis and only two brothers are left in the billionaires club with Samih ejected. Naguib who last year was richest man in Africa has lost an eye-watering $9.7 billion over the year as the value of his telecommunications empire, Orascom Telecom Holdings crashed by close to 90% and he now finds himself nestled in fourth place on the list. Naguib Sawiris was in 2008 valued at US$12.7 billion and 60th richest in the world.

Aliko Dangote (Nigeria)

African No.5 – World Rank No.261 – Wealth $2.5 billion

The Nigerian Stock Exchange was a few years ago one of the world fastest growing exchanges but it has plummeted over the last few months and with it has gone a substantial proportion of Dangote’s wealth. Despite losing over US$800 million he still moves up two places as others have suffered even more painful losses. In 2008 Dangote was worth US$3.3 billion

Mo Ibrahim (Sudan)

African No.6 – World Rank 334 – Wealth $2 billion

Mo Ibrahim was not ranked last year. However, he made his US$2 billion to his fortune from his Celtel mobile phone empire and selling it on to Kuwaiti investors. He is famous for his US$5 million African leadership prize.

Onsi Sawiris (Egypt)

African No.7 – World Rank No.430 – Wealth $1.7 billon

In 2008 the Sawiris families were easily the richest family in Africa with father Onil and sons Naguib, Nassef and Samih boasting a combined wealth of US$35.7 billion. The global crisis has seen this wealth decimated. The patriarch of the Sawiris family, Onil saw his personal wealth plunge from $9.1 billion to $1.7 billion on the back of collapse in the value of the Sawiris’s construction group, telecommunication group and leisure interests.He was ranked No. 3 in Africa in 2008 and No. 96 in the world with a worth of US$9.1 billion

Patrice Motsepe (S. Africa)

African Rank No.8 – World Rank No.559 – Wealth $1.3 billion

Patrice Motsepe’s mining empire benefitted from record commodity prices to make him the first black South African to make the African rich list. A year on the fall in commodity prices particularly platinum has hit him hard with his personal wealth falling US $1.1 billion. In 2008his worth was US$2.4 billion.

Femi Otedola (Nigeria)

African Rank No. 9 – World Rank No.601 – Wealth $1.2 billon

He is a new entrant on the Forbes Billionaire list. This oil magnate prospered under the Nigeria last administration, others include Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank), Michael

Adenuga (Glo Telecoms) and Tony Elumelu (UBA Bank). It would be no surprise if one of the latter three makes the list next year.

Johann Rupert & Family (South Africa)

African Rank No.9 – World Rank No.601 – Wealth $1.2 billion

Once ranked No.3 on the list of the richest in Africa, the family is in danger of slipping out of the list all together. The bulk of their wealth is tied into the Richemont Group, a major player in luxury goods and this is a sector that has been particularly hard hit by the global down turn.In 2008 Johann Rupert & family (South Africa) was African Rank No.6 ” World Rank No.284 ” Wealth $3.8 billion.


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