June 20, 2024

Rupert overtakes Dangote as the richest man in Africa; Forbes 

3 min read
Rupert overtakes Dangote as the richest man in Africa; Forbes

Aliko Dangote loses the top spot to Johann Rupert of South Africa as the richest man in Africa according to the latest Forbes report

Aliko Dangote loses the top spot to Johann Rupert of South Africa as the richest man in Africa according to the latest Forbes report.

For the first time in a dozen years, Aliko Dangote has fallen from his perch as Africa’s richest person. 

The continent’s new number one, according to Forbes’ calculations, is Johann Rupert of South Africa, who built a fortune in luxury goods and more.

Rupert overtook Dangote on Thursday, June 15, and has an estimated net worth of $11.7 billion, according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires ranking at 10 a.m. ET on June 21.

This marks the first time that Rupert ranks as the richest person in Africa; he’s been on Forbes’ list of billionaires since at least 1997. 

Dangote, 66, stands in second place behind Rupert, 73, among African billionaires with a fortune estimated at $10.4 billion.

That’s a $3.7 billion drop from the $14.1 billion net worth Dangote had on Wednesday, June 14.

The decline of Dangote’s fortune comes in the wake of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to float its currency, the naira, on June 14, abandoning the fixed exchange rate with the U.S. dollar.

The naira, which had been trading around 465 per U.S. dollar, plummeted about 40% against the U.S. dollar on Friday, June 16, and fell to a low of N690 to the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, June 20.

The majority of Dangote’s fortune lies in his 85% ownership of listed firm Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer, shares of which have risen about 1% since the central bank’s decision to float the currency.

The plunging naira far outweighed the slight uptick in Dangote Cement’s shares in shifting Dangote’s fortune.

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Africa’s new No. 1, Rupert is chairman of Compagnie Financière Richemont, a Switzerland-listed luxury goods powerhouse that boasts brands such as Cartier, Montblanc, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Richemont was founded by Rupert in 1988 when he spun off the international assets from The Rembrandt Group, his father’s conglomerate formed in the 1940s. 

Rupert also serves as chairman of Remgro, a South African investment holding company with a diversified portfolio in banking, healthcare, and media companies.

He also owns part of the Saracens English rugby team and says his biggest regret was not buying half of Gucci when he had the opportunity to do so–decades ago– for just $175 million.

Rupert’s net worth has increased by nearly $3 billion since early 2022 and more than doubled since early 2020 when Forbes estimated it at $4.6 billion.

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