New research reveals Africa has 42 dollar-billionaires

Wealth-X and UBS bank today published its Billionaire Census 2013, a comprehensive study on the world’s billionaire population.

The research reveals there are currently 2,170 dollar-billionaires in the world, with a combined net worth of US$6.5tr. Only 42 of these billionaires are from Africa.

According to the study, 19 of Africa’s billionaires are from Egypt, followed by South Africa (9), Nigeria (7), Morocco (4), Kenya (1), Tunisia (1) and Angola (1).

“Although Egypt has the largest number of billionaires in the region, the average net worth of South African billionaires is nearly double that of Egyptian billionaires at $3.3bn, as compared to $1.7bn,” notes the report.

It remains a man’s world when it comes to the continent’s billionaires, with 93% of them listed in the report being male.

The wealthiest man in Africa is Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, a self-made businessman with a fortune of $17bn. Dangote started a small trading firm in 1977 that grew to become the Dangote Group, one of the most diversified business conglomerates in Africa and major supplier to Nigeria’s soft drink companies, breweries and confectionaries.

Just over 47% of Africa’s billionaires are self-made, while about 14% inherited their wealth. The rest have part-inherited, part-made their fortunes.

The average age of Africa’s billionaires is 62 and all of them have been married.

Interestingly, only 7% of the continent’s billionaires amassed their wealth in the petroleum sector. The majority, or 19%, of billionaires operate in the financial sector, followed by industry (12%), real estate (12%), social organisations (10%), and construction and engineering (7%).