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Africa is home to some of the richest individuals in the world. One of the richest, according to Forbes, in Africa is currently Aliko Dangote who hails from Nigeria.
Dangote initially made his money in cement, sugar, and flour; however, Africa’s richest man is now looking to the oil industry to grow his fortune.
While Dangote may be the richest man in Africa, IT News Africa will now introduce you to Africa’s Top 10 Richest in Tech, according to the latest list revealed by Forbes.
Mohamed Mansour and his brothers Yasseen and Youssef, all billionaires, sat out the Arab spring in London but, with a friendlier Egyptian government now in power, they return frequently to Cairo where they still own extensive real estate.
Over the past three years, their private equity arm has invested more than $500 million outside of Egypt in various businesses including telecoms, education, and real estate.
By Daryl Linington
According to the Forbes list, Adenuga is Nigeria’s second richest man, and has investments in telecoms and oil production.
In 2003, he founded Globacom, which has more than 27 million subscribers in Nigeria, making it the second largest mobile phone network in the country after South African giant MTN. It also serves customers in Ghana and Republic of Benin. Adenuga is also the founder of oil exploration firm Conoil Producing, which operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta; about half of which produce oil.
Naguib Sawiris is back at the helm of his company Orascom Telecom Media & Technology (OTMT), following the resignation of the previous CEO, this is according to Forbes.
Sawiris, who had held the post of executive chairman, vowed to lead a “new take-off” by devising a growth strategy for a company where the stock has languished. OTMT has investments in mobile, media and technology companies in Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan. It also runs Koryolink, North Korea’s only 3G mobile telecom company. Along with his brother, Nassef, Sawiris has pledged to invest heavily in Egypt following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.
South African media tycoon Koos Bekker stepped down as CEO of media conglomerate Naspers in February 2014, according to Forbes, after running the Cape Town-based company since 1997.
Bekker transformed the publisher into a new media powerhouse, with investments in China, India, Russia and elsewhere, including stakes in China’s Internet behemoth Tencent Holdings, Russian Internet giant Mail.ru and Brazilian magazine publisher Abril.
During his tenure, Naspers’ market capitalisation grew from $600 million to $45 billion. He drew no salary or benefits, instead collecting stock options that vested over time. He was a founding director of African telecom firm MTN. His 600-acre Babylonstoren estate in South Africa’s Western Cape region has buildings dating back to 1690, a farm, orchard, vineyard, 14-room hotel and a restaurant.
In May 2014, Rostam Azizi sold a 17% stake in Vodacom Tanzania, the country’s largest mobile phone operator, to South Africa’s Vodacom Group for $250 million.
According to Forbes, he still owns nearly 18% of Vodacom Tanzania through Cavalry Holdings, an investment company registered in Jersey. His other assets include Caspian Mining, the largest contract mining firm in Tanzania, which carries out work for mining giants such as BHP Billiton and Barrick Gold. He also owns residential and commercial real estate in Dubai and Oman. He got his start in his family’s trading business, then broke out on his own to cut deals with international companies looking for partners in Tanzania.
Tunde Folawiyo is the managing director of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, a conglomerate with interests in energy, agriculture, shipping, real estate and engineering. His father, Wahab Folawiyo, a well known Nigerian businessman, started the group in 1957 as a commodities trading outfit and served as chairman until 2008 when he passed away.
Folawiyo now calls the shots. The company’s oil exploration firm, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum, owns a 60% interest in an oil block that includes the Aje offshore field. Other assets include minority stakes in Nigeria’s Access Bank and mobile operator MTN Nigeria.
Hakeem Belo-Osagie is the chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile telecom network, with more than 18 million subscribers. His father was the gynecologist to the family of former Nigerian military president Ibrahim Babangida.
Through that connection, he was able to secure a job as a Special Assistant to the Presidential Adviser on petroleum and energy and later as Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, positions which he admits enabled him to close a few oil deals.
In 1998, he acquired a controlling stake in the United Bank for Africa, a large Nigerian commercial bank, but was ousted out by the Central Bank. He also owns First Securities Discount House, a money markets and Treasury bill trading and financial services firm in Nigeria. He is one of the sponsors of a new $120 million shopping mall currently being developed in Jabi Lake in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Zimbabwe’s richest man according to Forbes, Strive Masiyiwa, owes the bulk of his fortune to his stake in Econet Wireless Group, the telecommunications group he founded and controls.
Econet Zimbabwe, a publicly-listed subsidiary of the group, is the largest mobile phone network in Zimbabwe with 9 million subscribers. Econet also has lucrative operations in Botswana, Lesotho and Burundi, as well as investments in telecom companies in New Zealand and the United States. A committed philanthropist, he is a cofounder, along with his wife, Tsitsi, of the Higher Life Foundation, a charity that provides scholarships and meals to destitute orphans in Zimbabwe. The foundation sponsors more than 30,000 poor children in government-owned schools.
Naushad Merali is founder of the Sameer Group, a Kenyan conglomerate with interests in agriculture, construction, information technology, property and finance.
In May this year he stepped down as chairman of Bharti Airtel Kenya, a position he had occupied for the last 15 years. He still keeps a 5% shareholding in the mobile phone network. In January 2013, he sold a 49% stake in Kenyan Internet service provider Swift Global to UK-based Liquid Telecom.
He announced plans in August 2014 to spin off the tire manufacturing business of his publicly-listed Sameer Africa, and is currently working on selling a 51% controlling stake he owns in Equatorial Commercial Bank, to a Kenyan Savings & Credit Society. His Zarina and Naushad Merali Foundation gives to hospitals and needy schools.
Oba Otudeko is the founder and chairman of Honeywell Group. The conglomerate’s operations stretch across oil and gas, flour milling, real estate and marine transportation.
Oba Otudeko is also the Chairman for Airtel Nigeria.