Wow! The Richest Black Man In The World 2020

  • With a net worth of $14.8 billion Aliko Dangote is the richest black man in the world.

Do you know who the richest black man in the world is? Most of you might. But for most people, especially black people, that fact might be buried in ignorance.

The truth is, there are just 13 black billionaires in the world according to the 2019 Forbes list. And sincerely, I feel that number is an embarrassment when the potential and natural resources of black nations are taken into account

We should be producing more billionaires. But sadly, this dream is one of the broken hopes engineered and sustained by corruption in the high places in government no matter the black nation.

Sometimes I get the feeling that African governments hate the idea of her people becoming very rich. A fact that is evident in the story of the richest woman in Nigeria, Folorunso Alakija. Who had to take the Nigerian government to court when the government forcefully decided to share profits from her oil well proceeds, claiming if allowed to make unrestricted money from the oil well, she would be making too much money. Which according to the government no single person should be making on a daily basis.

Too much! Maybe that is why they constantly abandon the primary objective of providing economic and social sustenance for the people.

But when we talk about the richest black man in the world, we are not just talking about black money makers from the black continent. Black billionaires come from all over the world to make up that small number of 13.

And the list of 13 is not just only about men but women are also included like Isabel Dos Santos who is the richest woman in Africa. And America media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

But our focus is not on the thirteen black billionaires. That would be a topic for another post, for another day. Our focus on this post is on the richest black man in the world and maybe, we might include the second runner up as well.

The Richest Black Man In The World

1. Aliko Dangote – $14.8 billion

The Richest Black Man In The World

The richest black man in the world is no other person than Aliko Dangote. The same man that is the richest in both Nigeria and Africa.

He is the founder and chairman of Dangote Group, which is responsible for Dangote Cement, which is Africa’s largest cement manufacturer.

Dangote Group also mills flour, processes salt, produces fertilizer and pasta, and is into sugar as well. The Nigerian sugar refinery, located at the port of Lagos, is the second-largest in the world.

After graduating from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University with a business degree in 1977. Dangote would receive a loan of $3,000 from his uncle to start a trading enterprise in food staples, including rice and vegetable oil.

Dangote would build on that loan, making sure he succeeded and four years later would move into transport, buying trucks and importing goods such as cement. 

“I’m from a family that has been in business for a very long time; it’s in our blood,” he says. “But I did not ride on the back of my family to make money. I started everything by myself through hard work and didn’t inherit a dime. The only asset I inherited from my late father, I donated to charity.” [1]

Dangote Oil Refinery

As the richest black man in the world, Aliko Dangote is all about the economic stability of his own country. A fact that is easily deduced from all the economic structures erected by the Dangote group, aimed at making Nigerian an exporter instead of just an importer of essential goods and services.

One of such very important structures is the Oil refinery being constructed in Lagos by the business tycoon. Which is expected to be the Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility, upon completion.

The Richest Black Man In The World

Dangote refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. 

The Dangote refinery is programmed to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude to produce Euro-V quality clean fuels including gasoline and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene. [2]

The Dangote oil integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to generate 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs. And is owned by the Nigeria-based Dangote Group, which is developing the project with an estimated investment of $12bn.

Aliko Dangote’s Worth

Dangote became $4.3 billion richer in 2019 as his investments in cement, flour and sugar saw his fortune grow into what can be described as an investor wet dream. He ended 2019 with a net worth of almost $15 billion, making him the 96th wealthiest man in the world.

Aliko Dangote is worth $14.8 billion, which could buy 12.0 million troy ounces of gold; 279 million barrels of crude oil; and its equivalent to 1,240 per cent of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world.

With that kind of wealth it is not surprising that Dangote has his set in investing in football. Dangote has indicated he could buy Arsenal in 2021, if a number of multi-billion dollar projects like the oil refinery is completed on time.

“It is a team that, yes, I would like to buy someday, but what I keep saying is we have $20 billion (£15 billion) worth of projects and that’s what I really want to concentrate on,” Dangote told the David Rubenstein Show.

“I’m trying to finish building the company and then, after we finish, maybe sometime in 2021 we can.
“I’m not buying Arsenal right now, I’m buying Arsenal when I finish all these projects because I’m trying to take the company to the next level.”

2. Mike Adenuga – $9.2 billion

It is amazing to note that on this article about the richest black man in the world, multiple Nigerians would be mentioned, Nigerians who are part of the 13 black billionaires in the world. In fact the second person on that list  after Aliko Dangote, is another Nigerian by the name Mike Adenuga.

Mike Adenuga owns Globacom which is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator, which has a presence in Ghana and Benin.It would also amaze you to note that he made his first million at age 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks.

3. Robert Smith – $6 billion

 He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. In 2018. With over $50 billion in assets, Vista is one of the best-performing private equity firms, posting annualized returns of 22% since inception.

 Vista has become America’s fastest-growing private equity firm, managing $31 billion across a range of buyout, credit and hedge funds. The firm specializes in investing in software companies. 

Vista owns 48 enterprise software companies servicing 20 industries ranging from energy to law to higher education and live events.[3]

He is a billionaire businessman and investment banker and was part of the team that helped Apple recruit Steve Jobs back. He is also considered the first self-made Wall Street billionaire who wasn’t a white male.

In a commencement address in Moore college, Robert Smith pledged to wipe out student debt for the entire 2019 graduating class. The pledge is estimated to worth $40 million.

In 2017, Smith signed on to the Giving Pledge. Which is the a commitment to contribute the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes. He also gave $20 million to the National Museum of African American History in 2016. [4]

 In 2016, Smith made a $20 million dollar gift to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

His $50 million donation to his alma mater in 2016 saw the university change the name of its school of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering after him. [5]

In 2016, Smith became the first African American chairman of New York’s Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most prestigious concert venues. 

4. David Steward – $3.5 billion 

David  Steward co-founded World Wide Technology with Jim Kavanaugh in 1990. which now employs 1,381 employees in forty-eight states and six countries, including South Korea, Singapore, China, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico. Sales now top three billion dollars. 

It  is the best U.S. reseller of Cisco solutions and second in the whole world. And has more than 40 Fortune 100 companies as clients as well as several major federal purchasing contracts. [6]

In 2000 it was named No.1 African-American owned business in the United States, 

David Steward was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters by Harris Stowe State University (2002) and Lindenwood University (2010).

5. Abdulsamad Rabiu – $3 billion

Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate. Rabiu owns 98.5% of it.

He founded BUA Group in 1988 and serves as its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

6. Oprah Winfrey – $2.7 billion

Not even the richest man in Africa, Dangote. Is as popular as the America media mogul.She is the most popular black billionaire in the world, with Micheal Jordan being the other billionaire.

She is considered the most successful talk show host and producer in the history of television. The show was birthed in 1986 and ended in 2011, at precisely 25 years.

 With its placement on 120 channels and an audience of 10 million people, the show grossed $125 million by the end of its first year, of which Winfrey received $30 million.{7]

The Oprah Winfrey Show has received 38 Daytime Emmy Awards, including nine Emmys for “Outstanding Talk Show” and seven Emmys for “Outstanding Talk Show Host.” 

She launched her own TV network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), after The Oprah Show ended in 2011, which is a joint venture with Discovery Communications.

She became the first recipient of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, in September 2002. And 2005, Business Week named Winfrey the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

She received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2013. She was given the award by the then president Barrack Obama for her contribution to the country.

In January 2018, Winfrey became the first African American woman to be honored with the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award, for lifetime achievement. 

7. Strive Masiyiwa – $2.5 billion

He is the founder and executive chairman of the telecommunications, technology and renewable energy company Econet Global.

It is amazing to note that his foundation pays for thousands of scholarships, paying the school fees for 20,000 students annually in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi.

 In 2013, Mr. Strive and his wife Tsitsi established a $6.4 million scholarship fund that sends students to Moore house College in the United States. 

For services to humanity through charity like the ones quoted above, Mr Strive and his wife were awarded the Points of Light award by Theresa May in 2018.

The Points of Light award recognizes outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Tsitsi and Strive Masiyiwa are the founders of the Higherlife Foundation, a non-profit organisation that is empowering vulnerable children through education and creating opportunities. [8]

By founding the ‘Higherlife Foundation’ you have demonstrated your shared commitment to improving the learning opportunities of children across Africa. You should be enormously proud of your tireless work supporting hundreds of thousands of children to improve their life chances by accessing quality education and training,” May said in her letter.

8. Patrice Motsepe – $2.4 billion

He is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, which has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum. A South African mining billionaire businessman.

He is a non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold, the world’s 12th largest gold mining company. He is considered the first black African on the Forbes list. He became a billionaire in 2008 and is South Africa’s first black billionaire.

In 1994, he became the first black partner at law firm Bowman Gilfillan in Johannesburg. He made his fortune from the mining industry.

Patrice began his mining career in 1997, at the time when the price of gold was low. He purchased marginal gold mines from AngloGold under favorable financial terms. Thus leading to his wealth accumulation.

 He gave a gift of 3 million rand (about $375,000) in June 2008 to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, one month before Mandela’s 90th birthday.

9. Isabel Dos Santos – $2.3 billion 

She is the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos , who ruled the country from 1979 to 2017. And is also the richest woman in Africa.

Her foray into business started with Urbana 2000, a subsidiary of Jembas Group, that had been awarded a contract to clean and disinfect the city. Where she worked as the as a project manager .

Her first business venture was the opening of the Miami Beach Club which is still profitable today as it was in the past.It is considered one of the first night clubs and beach restaurants on the Luanda Island.

The richest woman in Africa also have a major stake in her country’s state oil company Sonangol. A feat that is not unconnected to the fact that her father the then President  in 2016 made  Isabel the chairwoman of the state oil company.

10. Michael Jordan – $2.1 billion 

He is the most famous and iconic face on this post. He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. 

 In 2014, he became the first billionaire player in NBA history, and his net worth of $2.1 billion ranks him as the fourth richest African-American behind Robert F. Smith, David Steward, and Oprah Winfrey.

Micheal Jordan still makes more money than LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or any other active player. He bought the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 for $175 million. The team is now worth more than $1 billion, and he owns 90% of the club.

He’s also the richest former professional athlete.

Nike founder Phil Knight called signing Jordan the best decision he ever made, getting the NBA rookie for $250,000 a year in 1984. Nike’s Jordan Brand alone now brings in more than $3 billion in revenue each year.

11. Michael Lee-Chin – $2 billion 

He made is fortune investing in financial companies like National Commercial Bank Jamaica and AIC Limited. And acquired AIC in 1987, when it had less than $1 million in assets under management. 

He sold AIC to Canadian financial services group Manulife in 2009 for an undisclosed price . However, he has a valuable 65% stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, which now makes up the majority of his wealth.

He is a Jamaican and Canadian billionaire.

12. Mo Ibrahim – $1.1 billion (tie)

 He is a Sudanese-British billionaire businessman. He is the founder of  Celtel, which when it was sold had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries. Which he sold for  $3.4 billion, to MTC Kuwait. He continued to serve as chairman of the company until 2007, when he retired from its board.

He is also part of The Giving Pledge campaign that  encourage extremely wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

13. Folorunsho Alakija – $1.1 billion (tie)

Folorunsho Alakija is the richest woman in Nigeria and like most wealthy persons in the country, she made her fortune from the oil industry. The path to becoming a billionaire started when she ventured into the Nigerian crude oil industry.

She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited, Digital Reality Prints Limited and is also the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. With majority stake in DaySpring Property Development company.

In May 1993, Folorunsho Alakija applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL). And the license to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block—now referred to as OPL 216 and was granted to Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited.

Famfa Oil’s partners include Chevron and Petrobras. And the company also has a stake in stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset. Agbami oilfield project is one of Nigeria’s largest deepwater developments with a  $3.5bn value.

The field spans across oil mining lease (OML) 127 and OML 128, approximately 354km south-east of Lagos and 112km offshore Nigeria, in the central Niger Delta.

The average net daily production from the field in 2019 was 90,000 barrels of crude oil and 14 million cubic feet of natural gas.

Conclusion

We would love to see more black billionaires in the world. Black people making financial progress is the change that can spur economic growth in black communities the world over. They are the foundational stones upon which a better economic future can be built and  from which young black Africans can borrow both expertise and resources in forging a tomorrow that is filled with black billionaires.

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