Thursday, March 6, 2008

New African billionaires arrive

Africa has two new billionaires on the block, both of whom are black, however; Africa's richest men, according to the Forbes rich list, remain two white South Africans who inherited their wealth. They have now been joined by a Nigerian industrialist who seems to be in every industry going and a black South African mine magnate. But with only four entries on the list Africa remains the continent with the fewest mega-rich citizens. New entrant, Aliko Dangote is Nigerian and has built a $3.3bn fortune from a loan from his uncle. In a little over 25 years, Mr Dangote has built an empire that includes the number one sugar production company in the country, a cement factory and a virtual monopoly on the production of pasta in Nigeria. His company bought two refineries in the last days of the regime of Olusegun Obasanjo, but the sale was cancelled by the new president Umaru Yar'Adua, after allegations that due process was not followed.

The second newcomer is South African Patrice Motsepe.
The lawyer who bought several unprofitable gold mines and turned them round and now has a fortune of $2.4bn. Born in the township of Soweto, he moved from being the first black partner at Bowman Gilfillan law firm in Johannesburg to running a mining contract firm after Apartheid collapsed. His African Rainbow Minerals now has annual sales of $875 million. Forbes says Mr Motsepe took full advantage of the Black Economic Empowerment laws that require mining firms to be over a quarter black-owned. Two white South Africans remain on the list: Nicky Oppenheimer and family own De Beers and are worth $5.7bn. Johann Rupert and his family head Swiss luxury goods group Richemont. This includes the Cartier label and their fortune has dipped to $3.8bn.
source: BBC News.
I personally feel that the number of African billionaires will steadily increase over the next 50yrs if the current trends of the African economic boom continue. In order to maintain these trends the Southern African States will need to sort out their energy shortfalls. South Africa is considering to split the country into two time zones in order to effectively ration electricity as a short term solution. The South Africa's main electricity supplier ESKOM is also planning on building a second nuclear reactor as a way to increase its electricity production by a few thousand kilowatts. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corperation(Z.E.S.C.O) is in the process of building two additional Hydro-Electric power stations. The West Africans seriously need to deal with fraud and corruption that has severely tarnished the reputation of the region, there is definitely need for damage control as a means to encourage additional F.D.I in the region. The East Africans will need to deal with there tribal issues that is hindering what was until not too long ago was experiencing fast paced economic growth. The recent turbulence in Kenya slowed down the entire region that is heavily dependent on Kenya as it is the financial center of the east coast. North Africans need to more openly acknowledge that there geographic location makes them Africans and hence they must seek further economic integration with their sub-Saharan brothers even if it is at the expense of the Arab League.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Damn,I'm obviously going to be on that list one day-maybe not a billionaire,but definitely a!