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Aliko Dangote speaking at Davos
(AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
What’s $10 billion between friends?
THE 10-DIGIT CLUB

A Nigerian industrialist lost $10 billion last year but is still easily Africa’s richest man

By Yinka Adegoke

The hotly anticipated Forbes Rich List came out this week and again counted 29 African billionaires within its ranks.

Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote again topped the pile with an impressive fortune of $15.7 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates. That’s down from $25 billion a year ago, before his net worth was dented by a drop in the stock market, the devalued naira, and falling oil prices.

But Dangote, who made most of his fortune in cement and sugar and is currently building a much-needed $9 billion oil refinery in his home country, still sits safely atop the pack—his net worth is more than double luxury goods magnate Johann Rupert and family of South Africa, the next African on the list, with an estimated $7.4 billion. South Africans also occupy the No. 3 and No. 4 slots with Nicky Oppenheimer ($6.7 billion, diamonds) and Christoffel Wiese ($6.3 billion, retail).

South Africa and Egypt have seven billionaires each on the Forbes list, while Nigeria has five. More from Forbes:

The richest 29 Africans are worth a total of $94 billion. The wealthiest group are the South Africans with a combined net worth of $28.5 billion. Nationals from just 9 out of 54 countries make up the African composition of the list.

While the list has been pretty stable there is one new face in Tanzanian Mohammed Dewji, who at 39 is the youngest on the list with a fortune of $1.3 billion from his family’s diversified manufacturing business. Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria and Isabel dos Santos of Angola are the only two female billionaires on the continent, according to Forbes.