Africa is home to far more billionaires than previously thought, as a decadelong period of intense economic growth has filled the pockets of local businessmen, according to the most comprehensive survey of wealth in the continent.
The Ventures magazine African billionaire roll, published on Monday, lists 55 people with fortunes of more than $1 billion, up from previous estimates of 16 to 25 billionaires. Most of the super-rich live in Nigeria and South Africa.
The surge in energy prices over the last decade, with oil jumping from $20 a barrel in early 2000 to more than $100 a barrel nowadays, has also contributed to the increase of billionaires in hydrocarbon-rich countries.
The new lists puts Africa on par with Latin America, which Forbes magazine said this year was home to 51 super-rich. Asia is home to 399 billionaires. The lists published by Forbes, which has been compiling lists of the most wealthy for years, and Ventures magazines are not directly comparable, however.
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The richest person in Africa is Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian businessman involved in cement, food, oil and other sectors with an estimated personal fortune of more than $20 billion. Allan Gray, the publicity-shy South African financier, is the second richest, with assets worth at least $8.5 billion. Mike Adenuga, a Nigerian involved in the oil and telecom industries, has an estimated fortune of $8 billion, according to Ventures.
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