Good news, kids! The Forbes 2011 World’s Billionaires rankings are out. Did you make it on to the list this year? Congrats! You are part of a select group of people who are collectively worth $4.5 trillion dollars.
Carlos Slim remains on top of the list of the world’s richest people, having added another $20.5 billion to his fortune last year. Meanwhile, the trend for the rest of the list is the emergence of ever-more Asian billionaires, chipping away at the USA’s previous domination of global wealth.
Now, I realise that once we start talking about personal wealth measured in billions of hard currency, we ordinary prolescum lose our damn minds and start dreaming about hanging out with other billionaires, going to all those exclusive dinners and parties that we only hear or or read about. But spare a thought for the African billionaires.
They’re lonely! They are few and far between, barely able to scrape the numbers together for an African chapter of the World Elite Club. Who are they supposed to pick as their competitive superyacht-buying rivals? When do they get to pit their polo teams against each other? Are there even enough of them to hold a mini-Bilderberg summit?
The only African to have made the top 100 of the list is Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, in 51st place. Lord knows where the next African is ranked, because I’m not going to wade through all 1,210 entries to find out. We may never know who Aliko hangs with when he’s not looking after his business empire.
India and China are producing new billionaires on a weekly basis, yet we can’t even get our act together to bring forth enough homegrown billionaires for a (very) high-stakes poker game. The message is clear, Africa: stop slacking! Make more billionaires! Once we can show off a shiny crop of newly minted billionaires, maybe we’ll get round to that equitable wealth distribution thing. Get to work! Aliko Dangote needs some new friends!
[Image by BullionVault]