Aliko Dangote | founder and chair Dangote Group
When Aliko Dangote featured on the cover of FORBES AFRICA’s May edition in 2012, he was called ‘Africa’s Richest Man’. Seven years later, he still holds that title.
With a whopping $9.2 billion (as of September 18, 2019), he holds the number one spot on Forbes’ list of African billionaires.
Part of his secret to success is that Dangote is diversifying from cement into the oil sector.
“We launched our $12 billion oil refinery which was scheduled to open in 2019 but we now have to push back due some import challenges we are sure will be rectified by 2020,” he tells FORBES AFRICA.
“The plant, with an estimated capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, will be 40% larger than the current largest refinery which only has a capacity of 450,000 barrels per day,” Dangote adds.
The facility will also house Africa’s largest urea plant with a capacity of three million tons per annum as well as 1,100kms of subsea pipeline infrastructure to handle 3 billion SCF of gas per day.
“Africa is home and we are passionate about its growth and as a result, the Dangote Group is focused on adding value to the continent through jobs,” Dangote tells us.
Their six major projects are expected to create over 250,000 jobs, foreign exchange earnings and savings of $15 billion.
“The refinery will create its own power which will run on natural gas with a projected supply of 12,000MW of power which will be readily available for commercial use and also meet the demand for petrochemical products in Nigeria.”
This is Dangote’s plan on becoming completely self-sustaining in the next few years.
Elon Musk | CEO, SpaceX, Tesla
When Elon Musk graced the cover of FORBES AFRICA in October 2015, he was described as “made in Africa, making it in the stars”, and he has certainly reached for the stars and beyond.
It was the same year the South African-born billionaire, who is a visionary CEO and founder of Tesla, released the autopilot mode on vehicles before self-driving cars entered the market.
Four years later, Musk has taken the company to new heights, pioneering car manufacturing with technology and expanding the company’s reach in other countries.
“You can order online at Tesla.com in two minutes, have your car delivered to your doorstep and return for full refund,” he responded to a client on Twitter.
And what’s more, Musk and his team have just introduced Tesla Insurance.
“Starting today, we’re launching Tesla Insurance, a competitively-priced insurance offering designed to provide Tesla owners with up to 20 percent lower rates, and in some cases as much as 30 percent,” Tesla announced on its website last month.
The game-changing vehicle has the automotive industry shaking but that’s not the only one of Musk’s ventures that has investors’ eyes glued to the company.
Musk, who is the founder and CEO of SpaceX, has his eyes set on the stars.
He has plans to take humans to Mars.
In 2018, Musk revealed that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa would be the company’s first paying customer for the Starship mission, which will send the entrepreneur and several others on a circumlunar trajectory around the moon and back in 2023.
Musk could be the first private entrepreneur to pioneer a space-faring nation.
Watch this space.
His net worth according to Forbes.com (at the time of going to press) was $20.2 billion.
Sol Kerzner | Founder of Kerzner International, Sun International, Southern Sun Hotel Group
At CNBC Africa’s All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLAs) in 2018, Sol Kerzner was handed the Lifetime Achievement award.
“I am just so happy to be here today to receive this award. It means just so much to me to receive this, right here in South Africa, where it began for me,” said an emotional Kerzner at the ceremony hosted in Sandton, Johannesburg.
When FORBES AFRICA featured him in October 2014, he had already made his mark on the global tourism industry.
Unofficially known as the ‘The Sun King’, his career in hospitality began after he left the world of accounting for hotels.
When he left the accounting firm, one of his clients, a director of a company, then asked why he resigned.
“You’re so young, you are a junior partner of this prestigious firm, what are you doing?” he asked Kerzner.
“I’m going to build South Africa’s first really great resort,” Kerzner responded.
The client then asked where he was going to do this.
“I said on the Umhlanga Rocks [In Durban]. He said, ‘take me’. We drove out and I showed him where I finally built the Beverly Hills and he said, ‘well what do you think this would cost to build?’ and I said ‘it could cost almost a million rand’.”
The client offered to invest in Kerzner’s dream and that was the moment he got his big break.
Today, Kerzner is the proud owner of popular resorts such as Sun City in South Africa.
He also owns properties across the globe including in the Bahamas, Mexico, Mauritius, the Maldives, Dubai and Hayman Island.
Christo Wiese | Chairman of Pepkor and Non-Executive Director of Shoprite
Christo Wiese made billions and watched most of them violently tumble in under a year.
In March 2017, Wiese was worth $5.6 billion according to Forbes magazine.
Less than a year later, he almost lost it all.
It fell to a mere $300 million.
“This is the biggest and fastest drop we have ever seen in the real time net worth of any individual on the Forbes rich list,” Kerry Dolan, head of the wealth unit at Forbes in the United States said to CNBC Africa.
This was thanks to the Steinhoff scandal as Wiese was one of the stakeholders.
“I count my blessings, because if this fraud had been allowed to go on for another year or two, I would have lost everything, including Shoprite. I decided not to become a bitter person because that destroys my life,” Wiese said to the channel.
He is currently the chairman and 44% owner of Pepkor, a South African-based investment and holding company managing a portfolio of retail chains including Pep, Ackermans, Dunns, Best & Less, and Incredible Connection.
He is also the non-executive director of South African retail giant Shoprite.
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