The global economy is in a particularly volatile phase right now, with fortunes tending to rise and fall on a daily or even hourly basis. But in Africa, as in the rest of the world, the last couple of years have been by and large good for the billionaire class. Billionaires on the continent might not get the worldwide headlines that billionaires in North America or Asia can get, but there are a few notable fortunes in Africa that are worth noting. Here are the five richest.

Nassef Sawiris: $6.1 Billion

Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris made the bulk of his fortune with Orascom Construction Industries, the construction company founded by his father and which he currently serves as CEO, a position he stepped into in 1998. Sawiris has had a plethora of other duties as well, serving or having served as a Director of the Dubai International Financial Exchange, President of the Egyptian Cement Company, and is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and the Business Secretariat of the Egyptian National Democratic Party.

Nathan Kirsh: $7.2 Billion

Business magnate Nathan Kirsh may be based in South Africa, but his property empire reaches far beyond it, with holdings in Australia and the United Kingdom. Kirsh’s position on this list is even more impressive when you consider that he went bankrupt in the 1980s.

Nicky Oppenheimer: $7.9 Billion

Nicky Oppenheimer’s family business is diamond mining. His grandfather was Chairman of the De Beers diamond mining company back in the 20s. But the South African businessman is also the head of Greene and Partners Investments, a venture capital firm focused on business in his native South Africa.

Johann Rupert: $8.7 Billion

The eldest son of late South African business tycoon Anton Rupert, the Rupert family fortune has ballooned to new heights in recent years. Rupert is the Chairman of Swizz luxury goods brand Richemont and has a philanthropic interest in environmental conservation.


Aliko Dangote: $21 Billion

The richest person in Africa with a fortune of about two and a half times that of the last person on this list, Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote controls The Dangote Group, a huge investment firm that forms the bulk of his wealth and includes holdings all over Africa.

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