Nigeria’s billionaire oil magnate, Femi Otedola, is Africa’s highest gaining billionaire in 2015. According to a Forbes estimate, more African billionaires saw a drop in their net worth in 2015 but Femi Otedola saw his fortunes rise by 75 percent at the end of the year to $1.81 billion from $778 million in 2014. With the exception of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, only 5 of the 21 African billionaires grew richer between December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015.
Forbes, a platform that tracks billionaires across the world, revealed how African billionaires gained more in 2015. Here is a list of Africa’s highest gaining billionaires in 2015.
- Femi Otedola, Nigeria
While Christofell Wiesse was the biggest gainer in dollar terms, Femi Otedola gained the most in terms of percentage. He, owner of more than 70 percent of Forte Oil, saw his fortune jump by more than 75 percent as Forte Oil’s stock price reached unprecedented highs on the back of fresh investments in power generation. Last year, Forte Oil was among 21 local and international companies to be awarded a lucrative crude oil lifting contract by the NNPC which led to an increase in the company’s stock price more than 60 percent and Femi Otedola closed the year with a net worth of $1.81 billion (75 percent increase from 2014).
2. Mohammed Dewji, Tanzania
Mohammed Dewji is the CEO of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (METL), a Tanzanian conglomerate his father founded in the 1970s. It is active in the areas of textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in East, Southern and Central Africa. His Mo Cola, priced below Coca Cola, competes with Tanzanian tycoon and Africa’s Richest list member, Said Salim Bakhresa’s Azam Cola. Having a diversified source of income, Mohammed Dewji ended the year with a net worth of $1.11 billion, up $308 million (38.7 percent) in 2014.
- Christofell Wiese, South Africa
The South African retailing tycoon saw his fortune soar to $841 million through the 31st of December 2015, a 15 percent boost from the previous year. In February last year, he struck a deal where Steinhoff, a furniture and home goods retailer, acquired Pepkor, a clothing and footwear seller, for $5.7 billion in cash and stock. Wiese was the biggest beneficiary of that transaction. He now owns an estimated 17 percent stake in Steinhoff, as well as 15 percent of the publicly listed Shoprite Holdings. Wiese’s $841 million uptick in 2015 made him the biggest African billionaire gainer in terms of the dollar.
- Isabel Dos Santos, Angola
Isabel dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angola’s long-time president and Africa’s richest woman, by virtue of her investments in Portugal and Angola. Her assets in Angola include 25 percent of Unitel, the country’s largest mobile phone network and a stake in a bank, Banco BIC. In Portugal, she owns a nearly 7 percent chunk of the oil and gas firm Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim) and nearly 19 percent of Banco BPI, the country’s fourth-largest bank. She ended the year with a net worth of $3.6 billion, up $335 million (12.5 percent) in 2014.
5. Issad Rebrab, Algeria
Issad Rebrab founded Algeria’s biggest privately held conglomerate, Cevital, one of the largest sugar refineries in the world, with an annual output of 1.5 million tons. Rebrab has been diversifying by buying European companies in distress. In 2014, he acquired (for an undisclosed amount) Groupe Brandt, a large French-based maker of appliances which had filed for bankruptcy protection. Cevital has invested more than $200 million to build a Brandt plant in Algeria which will employ 7,500 people. Rebrab ended the year with a net worth of $3.2 billion, up by $181 million (6.6 percent) from his net worth 2014.