Aliko Dangote
**FILE** Aliko Dangote (Courtesy of Matthew Jordaan via Wikimedia Commons)

The majority of rich Blacks aren’t American, but African. According to Forbes 2018 ranking of the world’s billionaires, Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote, with a net worth of $14.7 billion, is the world’s richest Black person. Dangote, who amassed his wealth by selling cement, is an investor and owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries. His company produces 44 million metric tons of cement annually. He also dominates the sugar market in his country. Dangote’s great-grandfather Alhassan Dantata was Africa’s richest man at the time of his death.

Here are the next 10, according to

2. Mike Adenuga: $5.4 Billion – Mike Adenuga, a native of Nigeria, supported himself by working as a taxicab driver in New York while attending Pace University for his MBA. By the age of 26, he had made his first million selling lace and distributing soft drinks. Now he owns the second-largest cell phone provider in Nigeria and one of the country’s most profitable oil firms.

3. Robert F. Smith: $4.4 Billion – Robert Frederick Smith is an American businessman, investor and philanthropist. Smith made his money in venture capital after leaving Goldman Sachs and Kraft Foods. A former chemical engineer and investment banker, he is the founder, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners

4. Oprah Winfrey: $2.7 Billion – Despite her OWN network, Harpo Productions, her return to TV as a “60 Minutes” correspondent and her stake in Weight Watchers, most of Oprah’s fortune comes from her years as a TV host. She also owns O, the Oprah Magazine.

5. Isabel dos Santos: $2.6 Billion – Isabel dos Santos is listed as an independent businesswoman who represents her own interests, but she acquired her massive wealth when her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, transferred stakes in several Angolan companies to Isabel before stepping down in 2017 as president of Angola.

6. Patrice Motsepe: $2.5 Billion – In 1994, South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe bought a low-producing gold mine and made it profitable. By 2008 he had become the first Black African billionaire, and he currently runs a private-equity firm and owns a soccer club.

7. Folorunsho Alakija: $1.7 Billion – Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, Beginning her business career with a fashion label, Folorunsho Alakija managed to secure an oil license in Nigeria in 1993. Now her oil-mining operation has partnered with Chevron and will likely keep pulling crude from the ground until 2024.

8. Michael Jordan: $1.65 billion – Michael Jordan’s wealth comes from endorsements, his shoe empire and his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan purchased a majority share of the NBA franchise in 2010 for $175 million. He now owns 90 percent of the team, which has an estimated value of $1.05 billion.

9. Mohammed Dewji: $1.54 Billion – Mohammed Dewji, Tanzania’s only billionaire. He inherited his wealth. Dewji’s father founded METL — a conglomerate that trades in textiles, flour, beverages and edible oils — in the 1970s. Dewji has signed the “giving pledge,” promising to give at least half of his fortune to charity.

10. Strive Masiyiwa: $1.39 Billion – Strive Masiyiwa launched his Zimbabwean cell phone company in 1998 and owns a majority share in his company as well as the corporation that provides fiber-optic networks and satellite services to telecom companies across Africa.

11. Mohammed Ibrahim: $1.18 Billion – Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim founded Celtel, one of the first cellphone companies in Africa and the Middle East. He sold his company in 2005 and walked away with $1.4 billion.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

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William Reed

William Reed is President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Press International. He has been a Media Entrepreneur for over two decades. A well-trained marketing and communications professional, Reed...

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