The 12 Black Billionaires In 2019

Forbes recently released its 2019 list of the world’s billionaires and it is impressive to note that a number of black people also clinched top spots on the list.

Even more interesting is the fact that of the thirteen blacks that made it into the list; four are from Nigeria. The list featured popular Nigerian business moguls, Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga , Abdulsamad Rabiu, and Folorunso Alakija.

These are the 12 richest black people on earth:

  1. Aliko Dangote, $10.9 billion

Nigerian, Sugar, Cement, Flour

The Cement and commodities tycoon retains his title as the world’s richest black man this year. After building his fortune in sugar, flour and cement, the Nigerian tycoon is embarking on his most ambitious project to date- a private oil refinery in Nigeria which will have a refining capacity of 6500,000 barrels a day and is expected to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil imports. Dangote started out in business more than 3 decades ago by trading in commodities like cement, flour and sugar with a loan he received from his maternal uncle and went on to build the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.

2. Mike Adenuga, $9.1 billion

Nigerian, Oil, Telecoms

Nigerian-born Mike Adenuga, the world’s second richest black person, built his fortune in oil and mobile telecoms. His Conoil Producing Company was one of the first indigenous Nigerian companies to be granted an oil exploration license in the early 90s. The company is the operator of six blocks in the Niger Delta and also owns a25% stake in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) Block 4. He is also the founder and sole owner of Globacom, a Nigerian mobile phone network that has more than 40 million subscribers in Nigeria and neighboring African countries. His property company, Cobblestone Properties, owns hundreds of prime residential and commercial property all over Nigeria.

3. Robert Smith, $5 billion

American, Private Equity

Robert Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, is the founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners that focuses exclusively on investing in software companies. The firm has more than $30 billion in assets and is one of the best-performing private equity firms, posting annualized returns of 22% since inception.

4. David Steward, $ 3 billion

American, Tech

David Steward is the cofounder and chairman of IT provider World Wide Technology, World Wide Technology, an $11.2 billion (sales) IT provider, whose customers include Citi, Verizon and the federal government.

5. Oprah Winfrey, $2.5 billion

American, Television

Oprah is still the richest African-American woman in the world thanks largely to the 25 years of her profitable daytime TV show and earnings from her Harpo production company. Her cable channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) is also cash flow positive for the first time and is enjoying favorable ratings as a result of securing exclusive TV interviews with headline-grabbers like disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Beyonce and gay NBA player Jason Collins. One of America’s most generous philanthropists, Oprah continues to give to education causes and has spent about $100 million on the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

6. Strive Masiyiwa, $2.4 billion

Zimbabwean, Telecoms

Masiyiwa, who is worth $2.4 billion, is the founder of Econet, one of the leading mobile telecoms companies in Africa. It has more than 10 million subscribers spread across Zimbabwe, Botswana, Burundi and Lesotho. In February, he pledged the sum of $100 million to establish a fund to invest in rural entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe.

7. Isabel Dos Santos, $2.3 billion

Angolan, Investments

The oldest daughter of Angola’s former president, Isabel dos Santos has built an impressive investment portfolio what includes a 25% stake in Angolan mobile phone company Unitel and a 25% stake in Angolan bank Banco BIC SA. Other holdings include a substantial stake in Nos SGPS, a Portuguese cable TV company and just under 20% of Banco BPI, one of Portugal’s largest publicly traded banks.

8. Patrice Motsepe, $2.3 billion

South African, Mining

South Africa’s first and only black billionaire is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed mining company that has in platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese, coal, copper and gold. He also owns a large stake in African Rainbow Capital, a private equity firm focusing on investments in the financial services sector.

9. Michael Jordan, $1.9 billion

American, Basketball

Basketball’s greatest player is the majority shareholder of Charlotte Bobcats and enjoys lucrative deals with the likes of Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck. His biggest pile comes from Brand Jordan, a $1 billion (sales) sportswear partnership with Nike.

10. Michael Lee-Chin, $1.9 billion

Canadian, Investments

Lee-Chin, a Canadian of Jamaican origin, made a fortune investing in financial companies. He owns a 65% stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, which makes up the bulk of his fortune.

11. Abdulsamad Rabiu, $1.6 billion

Nigerian, Cement, Sugar

Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate with interests in sugar refining, cement production, real estate, steel, port concessions, manufacturing, oil gas and shipping. BUA Group’s annual revenues are estimated at over $2 billion. Abdulsamad got his start in business working for his father, Isyaku Rabiu, a successful businessman from Nigeria’s Northern region. He struck out on his own in 1988, importing rice, sugar, edible oils as well as steel and iron rods.

12. Folorunsho Alakija, $1.1 billion

Nigerian, Oil

Nigeria’s first female billionaire is the founder of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian company that owns a substantial participating interest in OML 127, a lucrative oil block on the Agbami deep-water oilfield in Nigeria. Alakija started off as a secretary in a Nigerian merchant bank in the 1970s, then quit her job to study fashion design in England. Upon her return, she founded a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele, including Maryam Babangida, wife to Nigeria’s former military president Ibrahim Babangida.

Photo Credit: Getty

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