BY EDITOR KALAHAN DENG
Congratulations to Micheal Jordan, for finally making it into the exclusive list of black billionaires in the world! A little less happy about it is perhaps Oprah Winfery, who held the title of the only black billionaire in North America untill now. According to Forbes, which lists the world’s billionaires every year, there are 1,826 billionaires in the world today. It is rather shocking to find out that only 11 of them are black, and that’s 2 more than last year! Yes, only 0.6% of the billionaires in the world are black, while it is estimated that out of 7 billion people in the world, 1.5 billion are black- a little over 20%. There are probably historical and geographical reasons for this gap, and hopefully it would soon shrink to nothing.
1. Aliko Dangote
The richest black person in the world, with a fortune currently estimated at $18.2 billion. This 57 years old Nigerian tycoon made his first fortune more than three decades ago. He started trading cement, sugar and flower with a loan from his powerful uncle, and later began to manufacture these commodities. Today he is ranked #67 in the world, after having lost approximately $10 billion in the last year due to a fall in stock prices and Nigerian currency devaluations, but still is the richest man in africa.
2. Mohammed Al-Amoudi
Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi shares his time between Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia, as he is the son of an Ethiopian mother and a Saudi father. His fortune, estimated at $10.9 billion, started from investments in construction and real-estate in Saudi Arabia, where he continues to build all sorts of complexes, from hospitals to universities. Later on he invested in Ethiopia in cement, agriculture and gold mining. Today he also owns several oil refinaries around the world, and is considered the richest man in Ethiopia.
3. Mike Adenuga
This Nigerian tycoon started by trading lace and Coca Cola after graduating from his studies in New York. His ability to connect with top Nigerian military personnel has brought him major state contracts, the profits of which he later reinvested in oil and in the foundation of the second largest mobile company in Africa. Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola “Mike” Adenuga Jr’s fortune is estimated at $4 billion.
4. Isabel Dos Santos
Finally, a woman on this list! The oldest daughter of Angola’s president, Isabel Dos Santos has taken advantage of her father’s connections and became the richest woman in Africa. Her fortune is estimated at $3.3 billion, all of it made from investments. Although she denies that her holdings have anything to do with her father, Forbes research found that he transferred stakes from several Angolan companies to her. Nevertheless she is the richest most influencial woman in Angola, and the first billionaire woman in Africa.
5. Oprah Winfrey
With a fortune of $3 billion, Oprah is the richest African-American person in the world. Born into poverty to a single teenage mother, Oprah Gail Winfrey got a job at the radio while still in high school, and by the age of 19 co-anchored local evening news. She later founded her own production company and talk show, which became the highest-rated program of its kind in history. Some claim her to be the most influential woman in the world.
6. Patrice Motsepe
With a fortune estimated at $2.1 billion, Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe is South Africa’s first black billionaire. He founded and chairs African Rainbow Minerals, which mines and processes iron, manganese, chrome, platinum, copper, nickel, coal and gold. The South African Black Economic Empowerment laws, which mandate that in order to get a mining license companies be at least 26% black-owned, has benefitted him greatly. He is also the president and owner of the.
7. Folorusho Alakija
The richest woman in Nigeria started as a secretary in a merchant bank, then moved to England to study fashion desgin. Florusho Alakija returned to Nigeria and founded an elite fashion label, which enabled her to make the right connections. With the help of her distinguished clientele, she managed to get a license and founded an oil company that owns a substantial participating interest in a lucrative oil block in Nigeria.
8. Mohammed Ibrahim
Dr Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim is a Sudanese-born UK citizen, with an estimated fortune of $1.7 billion. He worked for several telecom companies before he founded a mobile company of his own, later to be sold for $3.4 billion. He then started The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which is dedicated to evaluating the performance of African nations and gives an annual award of $5 million for Achievement in African Leadership.
9. Femi Otedola
Following a sharp rise in the share price of his oil company Forte Oil, Nigeria’s Femi Otedola returns to the list of billionaires for the first time since 2009. New investments in power generation and distribution have earned him almost $400 million in 90 days! The company, of which he controls 78%, owns gas stations and fuel storage depots, and also manufactures oil engines. His fortune is estimated at $1.23 billion.
10.Abdul Samad Rabiu
The son of a Nigerian industrialist and business man, Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu got his first business opportunity working for his father. He moved to the US to attend university, only to return by the age of 24 to oversee his familiy’s business. Later on he founded a conglomerate with interests in manufacturing and distribting flour, sugar, cement and steel and iron. His fortune is estimated at $1 billion.
11. Michael Jordan
Claimed to be the greatest basketball player of all times, Jordan finally made it to this list. This is mostly thanks to his partnership with Nike’s sportswear, which yeilded $1 billion in sales. No wonder, considering that he was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his time and helped popularizing the NBA around the world. Today he proudly holds the majority of shares in NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, a dream come true to him.