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Pity the African Billionaire

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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]

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2 Comments

  1. guest says:

    1. Aliko Dangote
    Country of citizenship: Nigeria
    Net worth: $13.8 billion
    Source of wealth: Sugar, flour, cement , inherited and growing
    Marital status: Married
    Children: 3
    Overall position: 51

    2. Nicky Oppenheimer & family
    Country of citizenship: South Africa
    Net worth: $7 billion
    Source of wealth: De Beers, inherited
    Marital Status: Married
    Children: 1
    Overall position: 136

    3. Nassef Sawiris
    Country of citizenship: Egypt
    Net worth: $5.6 billion
    Source of wealth: Construction, inherited and growing
    Overall position: 182

    4. Johann Rupert & family
    Country of citizenship: South Africa
    Net worth: $4.8 billion
    Source of wealth: Luxury goods, inherited and growing
    Marital Status: Married
    Children: 3
    Overall position: 219

    5. Naguib Sawiris
    Country of citizenship: Egypt
    Net worth: $3.5 billion
    Source of wealth: Telecom, inherited and growing
    Marital Status: Married
    Children: 4
    Overall position: 310

    6. Patrice Motsepe
    Country of citizenship: South Africa
    Net worth: $3.3 billion
    Source of wealth: Mining, self-made
    Marital Status: Married
    Children: 3
    Overall position: 336

    7. Onsi Sawiris
    Country of citizenship: Egypt
    Net worth: $2.9 billion
    Source of wealth: Construction, self-made
    Marital status: Married
    Children: 3
    Overall position: 393

    8. Mohamed Mansour
    Country of citizenship: Egypt
    Net worth: $2 billion
    Source of wealth: Cotton trading, inherited and growing
    Marital status: Married
    Children: 2
    Overall position: 595

    9. Mike Adenuga
    Country of citizenship: Nigeria
    Net worth: $2 billion
    Source of wealth: Banking, self-made
    Marital Status: Married
    Overall position: 595

    10.Yasseen Mansour
    Country of citizenship: Egypt
    Net worth: $1.8 billion
    Source of wealth: Diversified, inherited and growing
    Marital status: Married
    Children: 4
    Overall position: 692

  2. Stephanie Migot says:

    Fantastic work on tracking down the missing African billionaires! Now we just need to make them richer, so they can move higher up the rankings next year. We need more people in the top 100!

    I’m gonna buy me some diamonds…

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