FORBES – Rising stock prices helped to shake up the ranks of Forbes’ second annual list of Africa’s 40 Richest. Fully one quarter of the list members this year are newcomers, including, for the first time, two women. Three of the newcomers hail from Nigeria while two tycoons are from South Africa, including Koos Bekker, a CEO who earns no salary or bonus.
South African mining mogul Desmond Sacco is the richest newcomer, with a net worth of $1.4 billion. He chairs publicly traded Assore, whose shares soared more than 60% over the past year – despite the labor strife in South Africa’s mining sector.
Property baron Sudhir Ruparelia of Uganda joins the list with a net worth estimated at $900 million. Ruparelia bootstrapped his way to extreme wealth, starting as a teenager in the U.K. and then sensing the need for foreign exchange bureaus when he moved back to Uganda early in his career. His Ruparelia Group owns hotels, real estate, Crane Bank, forex bureaus and more. Read more about Ruparelia.
Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria is one of the first two women members of Africa’s 40 Richest. She started as a secretary at an investment bank in the 1970s, launched a fashion label for upscale clientele in the 1980s and her Famfa Oil company was awarded an oil prospecting license in 1993. Famfa Oil owns part of the prolific deepwater Agbami field in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Alakija’s fortune is estimated at $600 million.
Said Salim Bakhresa is the first African from Tanzania to make the Forbes list. His ownership of conglomerate Bakhresa Group gives him a net worth estimated at $520 million. The group has operations in grain milling, packaging, beverages and petroleum trading and manufactures the Azam brand of chocolates and ice cream. Bakhresa, now 64, stopped school at age 14 to start working.
Newcomer Moulay Hafid Elalamy hails from Morocco, bringing the total number of Moroccans on the Africa list to 5. Elalamy debuts due to the strength of Groupe Saham, one of the largest insurance companies in Morocco. Forbes puts his net worth at $500 million.
O.B. Lulu-Briggs of Nigeria, with a net worth of $500 million, is one of four tycoons on the list whose fortunes lie solely in oil. His Moni Pulo Ltd. is an oil exploration and production company. Its flagship oil block produces 10,000 barrels a day.
Isabel dos Santos, the second woman to join Forbes’ Africa list, is an entrepreneur, investor and daughter of Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Her first business venture was an eatery in Luanda called Miami Beach Club. Current assets include investments in Portuguese banks and Portuguese TV and Internet company Zon Multimedia. Forbes estimates her net worth at $500 million.
Koos Bekker has turned South African media company Naspers into a global media powerhouse, with investments in China’s instant messaging giant Tencent Holdings and Russia’s Internet player Mail.ru. As the CEO, Bekker has overseen a rise in the market capitalization of Naspers from about $600 million in 1997 to a recent $25 billion – all the while drawing no salary, bonus, or benefits. His $450 million net worth lies mostly in the value of vested options in Naspers.
Sani Bello of Nigeria has a fortune estimated at $425 million built on oil and telecom. His AMNI Petroleum has stakes in offshore Nigerian oilfields. He also owns a slice of MTN Nigeria, an arm of South Africa based mobile phone network MTN Group.
Naushad Merali is the only Kenyan on this year’s list. His Sameer Group operates in construction, agriculture, information technology, telecom and finance. Three of the group’s units are listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Forbes estimates his net worth at $410 million.
This was first published on Forbes.com