Forbes Middle East

Africa's Richest

- BY KERRY A. DOLAN

As everywhere, the wealthiest in Africa have come through the pandemic just fine. The continent's 18 billionair­es are worth an average $4.1 billion, up 12% from a year ago, driven in part by Nigeria's surging stock market. For the tenth year in a row, Nigerian cement magnate Aliko Dangote (above) is Africa's richest person, at $12.1 billion, up $2 billion. In second place: Nassef Sawiris of Egypt, whose largest asset is a nearly 6% stake in Adidas.

One person you won't see here: Isabel dos Santos of Angola. In 2013, Forbes declared her the richest woman in Africa, with $3.5 billion—and spelled out just how the daughter of Angola's longtime president had accumulate­d her assets, in part by looting the country. (At the time, her spokespers­on told Forbes she was a “private investor representi­ng solely her own interests” and that her investment­s were “transparen­t.”) Angola's government, under new president João Lourenço, wants to claw it back. In January 2020 the country's attorney general charged Dos Santos, her husband and a business associate with embezzleme­nt and money laundering costing Angola at least $1.1 billion. Dos Santos denied all charges. (Her husband died in Dubai last October, reportedly in a diving accident.)

Angolan offi cials have frozen her assets in the country, including stakes in a mobile telecom and two banks. Courts in Portugal (Angola's former colonizer) and the Netherland­s later followed suit. Forbes now values her frozen assets at zero; as such, her net worth has plummeted below $1 billion. Through a spokesman, Dos Santos declined to comment.

 ??  ?? Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote

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