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The richest men in Africa – 2009

Last Updated: 1/17/2010 1:23:17 PM

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It is that time of the year, the American business magazine Forbes has published its annual list of the richest people on planet Earth and we at ClickAfrique have had a look through to see how Africa fared.....

The richest men in Africa 2009
The richest men in Africa 2009

2008 has been a tough year all round, the Credit Crunch unleashed havoc across the globe, commodity prices crashed, export markets shrunk, stock markets have headed downwards and foreign investors have fled riskier markets as they rushed for safety.

The culmination of these factors has seen some big changes in the league table of African wealth with many fortunes decimated and a new man at the top.

Johann Rupert & Family (South Africa)
African Rank No.9 - World Rank No.601 - Wealth $1.2 billion
It has been another bad year for the Rupert family. Once ranked No.3 on the list of 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. The summation of this is a fall in wealth of over $2.4 billion and a drop to No.9 in the African rich list.

Femi Otedola (Nigeria)
African Rank No. 9 - World Rank No.601 - Wealth $1.2 billon
Last year saw the debut of Aliko Dangote as the first entry from Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria in the Forbes Billionaire list. This year sees another entry, oil magnate Femi Odetola. Odetola is one of a cortège of moguls who 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.

Patrice Motsepe (South Africa)
African Rank No.8 - World Rank No.559 - Wealth $1.3 billion
Patrice Motsepe was a new entrant this time last year his mining empire benefitting 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 $1.1 billion. Despite the fall he was still able to claw his way up one spot to No.8 on the list.

Onsi Sawiris (Egypt)
African No.7 - World Rank No.430 - Wealth $1.7 billon
In 2008 the Sawiris family were easily the richest family in Africa with father Onil and sons Naguib, Nassef and Samih boasting a combined wealth of $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.

Mo Ibrahim (Sudan)
African No.6 - World Rank 334 - Wealth $2 billion
We omitted Mo Ibrahim from our list last year, with $2 billion to his name we are not going to make the same mistake twice. Mo Ibrahim made his fortune building up the CelTel mobile phone empire and selling it on to Kuwaiti investors. In recent years he is most famous for his $5 million African leadership prize.

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 $800 million he still moves up two places as others have suffered even more painful losses.

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 brother 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.

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.

Nicky Oppenheimer & Family (South 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 and they have weathered the financial crisis relatively unscathed. They were aided by having sold a significant part of their Anglo American empire at the peak of the market.

Mohammed Al Amoudi (Ethiopia)
African Rank No.1 - World Rank No. 43 - Wealth $9 billion
We come to the top of the list and the honour of the ‘Richest Man in Africa’ goes to Ethiopian born Mohammed Al Amoudi. Saudi based Al Amoudi has successfully preserved his $9 billion fortune through these troubled times and that act of financial stewardship alone has seen him rise from No.4 to the top of the rich list and No.43 in the world. His interests are spread across Sweden, the Middle East and his home country of Ethiopia.

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