YOU will now need to be worth only $330 million to qualify among Africa’s 50 richest people, according to Forbes magazine.
The publication, which tracks the fortunes of the continent’s richest people, said falling currencies, the plunge in oil prices and flagging stock markets had combined to push down the minimum net worth requirement from the $510 million needed last year.
As such seven Africans failed to make the cut this year, it said. They were Econet majority shareholder Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, Tanzania media baron Reginald Mengi, the CEO of the Nigerian conglomerate Yinka Folawiyo Group Tunde Folawiyo and compatriot Oba Otudeko who chairs the Honeywell Group.
Of note is that the last two both hold or have held shareholdings in major telecoms firms, MTN Nigeria for Folawiyo, while Otudeko sold his stake in Bharti Airtel.
Another Nigerian who dropped from the much-watched list is Hakeem Belo-Osage who chairs the Nigerian operations of UAE mobile telephony firm Etisalat.
Egypt steel magnate Ahmed Zzz and South African mining bigwig Desmond Sacco round out the list of those who failed to beat the drop.
The publication notes that as a group, the continent’s wealthiest 50 are worth $95.6 billion, a decline of $15 billion from a year ago. Just over half—23—were dollar billionaires.
Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote remained perched atop the list for the fifth year running, but has lost almost $5 billion on his current net worth of $16.7 billion due to negative share price movements.
South Africa has 16 representatives, up from 11 last year, ahead of Nigeria with 10. Morocco has eight, Egypt seven while Tanzania and Kenya have three each.
Only two are women: Angola’s Isabel Dos Santos, whose father leads the country, and Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria, a major player in oil.
The oldest is aged 86, Miloud Chaabi from Morocco, while the youngest is 40—Tanzania’s Mohammed Dewji who heads METL, a conglomerate.
All those tracked by the list live on the continent.