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African billionaires : Five countries dominate the list

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African billionaires : Five countries dominate the list

Five markets account for 56 % of the continent’s wealthy individuals and 90 % of its billionaires. Mauritius is projected to see the highest rate of wealth growth, at 75 %, over the next decade. South Africa ranks among the world’s top 20 prime residential markets, significantly outpacing other African countries.

Billionaires and millionaires on the rise in Africa

When it comes to African wealth, only five countries are home to more than half of the continent’s richest people. Despite indications of Africa’s rise in global wealth, the distribution remains uneven. The recent Africa Wealth Report by Henley & Partners, in partnership with New World Wealth, highlights some intriguing regional wealth trends.

Africa’s investment wealth is around 2,400 billion USD, up from 2,100 billion USD in 2022. The number of billionaires in the region has more than doubled, from 21 in 2022 to 46 in 2023. Additionally, the population of millionaires is expected to increase by at least 42 % over the next decade.

Africa’s Big Five

The report highlights the strong performance of wealth markets in South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco. These five countries account for 56 % of the continent’s wealthy individuals and 90 % of its billionaires. « There are currently 138,000 individuals with investable wealth of 1 million USD or more living in Africa, 328 centimillionaires worth 100 million USD or more, and 23 billionaires USD », the report states. Despite political and economic challenges in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, these markets remain at the same level as in 2022.

  • South Africa is still home to twice as many wealthy people as any other African country, and an impressive 30 % of the continent’s centimillionaires.
  • Egypt boasts the highest number of billionaires.
  • Mauritius boasts by far the highest per capita wealth (average wealth per person) in Africa, with 37,500 USD.
  • South Africa with 10,880 USD and Namibia with 10,050 USD complete the podium.

Fastest-growing markets

The report also highlights Rwanda as one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, having transformed itself into a potential ICT hub for the region. Over the past two decades, Rwanda has seen strong economic growth, with an average GDP increase of over 7 %. While its economy is primarily based on agriculture, a shift toward construction and tourism is strengthening the country’s economic base.

Mauritius is another nation with significant wealth-creating potential, drawing attention within African wealth markets. This mixed-economy nation, driven by agriculture, financial services exports, and tourism, has made significant progress since independence, achieving an upper-middle-income economy. Mauritius is projected to experience the highest rate of wealth growth in Africa, at 75 %, over the next decade.

Africa, known for its young and rapidly growing population, holds immense potential for investment. Despite being the poorest continent, this unfortunate reality opens up numerous opportunities for investment growth. Africa offers some of the most promising opportunities for impact investment, making it a key focus for investors seeking substantial and rewarding prospects.

Africa’s richest cities

Africa is experiencing a boom thanks to rapid urbanization, industrialization, demographic trends, and expanding employment opportunities. Half of the world’s fastest-growing economies are projected to be in the region, with 20 economies expected to grow at an average rate exceeding 5 % over the next five years, outpacing the global average of 3.6 %.

South Africa stands out with four of the ten wealthiest cities on the continent. This underscores its economic significance and potential as a hub for prosperity and development within Africa.

  • Johannesburg has the most millionaires in Africa, with 14,600.
  • Cairo, in second place with 7,400 wealthy residents
  • Cape Town, in third place, with 7,200
  • Lagos, the third-fastest-growing city in 2022, is in 4th place, with 5,400 millionaires.
  • Nairobi is in 5th place with 4,700
  • The other two South African cities in the Top 10 are Durban, in 6th place with 3,600, and Pretoria, in 8th place with 2,400.

Despite facing economic challenges such as inequality, corruption, and political instability, Africa is increasingly becoming synonymous with wealth creation. South Africa is home to some of the world’s most luxurious residential areas, including Clifton in Cape Town, Beachy Head Drive in Plettenberg Bay, and Sandhurst in Johannesburg. Approximately 3,700 homes in South Africa are valued at over 1 million USD, The report highlights that « South Africa is among the top 20 prime residential markets globally. This places South Africa ahead of other African nations and on par with major emerging markets like India and Brazil in terms of upscale real estate ».

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