No African countries feature on the list of top countries for centi-millionaires, according to a recent report from Henley & Partners, the “global leader in residence and citizenship by investment”, but all is not lost. Four countries on the continent – Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Mauritius – are tipped to be the fastest-growing markets for centi-millionaires over the next decade.
The Centi-Millionaire Report, released by Henley & Partners, is the first global study of ultra-high-net-worth individuals who boast $100 million in investable assets. There were 25,490 centi-millionaires in the study.
The report “pulls back the curtain on” the lives and livelihoods of the super-rich, which destinations they call home, their spending habits, and their wealth management strategies.
The top 10 countries that house most of the centi-millionaires in the world are the United States (US), China, India, the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the Russian Federation.
The US accounts for an incredible 38% of global centi-millionaires, despite only constituting 4% of the world’s total human population, the report reads. However in Africa, South Africa is the top-ranked country with 92 centi-millionaires — it holds 27th position globally.
“It is true there is still a long way to go to have as many billionaires or millionaires that you see in America, Asia or Europe. But now that there is this trend of an increased number of wealthy individuals on the continent, how can you make sure that it’s not only the governments that are working on developing our economies, but also the private sector?”-Ntoudi Mouyelo, Chief Investment Officer of the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC)
The African perspective? We rounded up some sentiments.
Ntoudi Mouyelo, Chief Investment Officer of the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC), tells FORBES AFRICA that although Africa is not on the top global rankings yet for centi-millionaires, there has been an increasing number of wealthy individuals on the continent.
“One needs to look at where we stand in comparison to other countries or continents,” says Mouyelo. “And we need to look at the trends within Africa. And here we want to change that narrative to say that things are happening on the continent. What you should look at is ‘what is the number of billionaires and millionaires on the continent’, and ‘how has the growth been of their portfolios’. And what you will see is an increase.
“It is true there is still a long way to go to have as many billionaires or millionaires that you see in America, Asia or Europe. But now that there is this trend of an increased number of wealthy individuals on the continent, how can you make sure that it’s not only the governments that are working on developing our economies, but also the private sector?”
According to Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, the largest millionaire migration flows on record are predicted for next year — 125,000 high-net-worth individuals on the move as we enter the new post-Covid world, and against a backdrop of rising inflation and interest rates, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the ever-present threat of climate change.
“Since the pandemic and the subsequent socioeconomic upheavals and geopolitical struggles, including a war in Europe, the importance of having optionality across multiple jurisdictions in terms of where you can relocate to and reside in is gaining traction,” Steffen says in the report. “And for those who can afford it, such as the centi-millionaires of the world, residence and citizenship by investment is the simplest, fastest, and most effective mechanism available to achieve optionality.”
“The reason why those countries have been listed, starting with Rwanda,” Mouyelo adds, “is because there is a dynamic economy that can leverage [off] a solid ground of legal fiscal framework with a growing number of skilled professionals to serve the economy.”
The Key Drivers Of Wealth
- Strong safety and security
- Growth in key sectors
- Strong competition in essential services
-According to the report, as a case study, electricity utility Eskom in South Africa shows the risks of government-owned monopolies, especially in critical sectors such as power generation.
- A well-developed and neutral news media
-The report further elaborates that it is important that major news outlets in a country are neutral and objective. A well-developed financial media space is especially important as it helps to disseminate information to investors. European and North American countries score strongly here, as do Australia, India, Kenya, New Zealand, and South Africa.
- Strong ownership rights
– “Zimbabwe offers a case in point as to what could happen when ownership rights are stripped. Once assets are taken away, they tend to lose value as it is unlikely that investors would be willing to commit to buying them,” the report reads.
- Highly developed banking system and stock market
-Low tax rates: Mauritius, Singapore and the UAE are examples of the power that tax rates can have in encouraging business formation as these countries all boast low tax rates.
“We in Africa, are African, and there is always the [need] to tailor-make those standards to our reality,” Mouyelo comments. “So what you are seeing here is one, to understand what those key drivers are. And second, is to make them work for our local economies, because we have to speak the African language.
“We are not reinventing the wheel, there is a reason why there is a common denominator to all those countries that are successful today, wherever [the continents] they are based. And Africa will be following the same trend. The question is, what is our willingness to go through that path?”