The World’s 10 Wealthiest Black Billionaires

March 2, 2015

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When we think of black billionaires, there are only a few names that come up. Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan are actually the only names that most people can think of. If we take a global look at the black billionaire landscape, we see that there are actually at the time of this writing, 10 black billionaires worldwide. According to Forbes this list contains only three African-Americans. Surprisingly, Oprah is one of three billionaire women on this list. Let’s take a closer look at these 10 powerful business magnates.


#10. Mohammed Ibrahim: $1.1 billion

Mohammed Ibrahim is a Sudanese self-made billionaire. Currently, residing in the UK, Ibrahim is one of the wealthiest people living there. In 2005 he sold is telecommunications company, Celtel International, thus making him a billionaire. Nowadays, his efforts are philanthropic, as he focuses on improving the living conditions of the people in Africa.


#9. Michael Jordan: $1.2 billion

Aside from being one of the most successful athletes in history, Michael Jordan is the wealthiest athlete of all time. The only billionaire athlete on this list, Jordan earned $90 million as an NBA basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. However, the bulk of his fortune was amassed after he left the court. Jordan’s endorsement deals and other partnerships, earn him more money annually, than his whole career as a basketball player. Among these ventures is his legendary endorsement deal with Nike, and his partial ownership of the Charlotte Hornets.


#8. Robert Smith: $2.5 billion

Founder of the private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith, is one of the least known American billionaires. This could be in part because he made his fortune in the unsung enterprise software space. He launched Vista Equity Partners in 2000 and the company since amassed $18 billion in assets. The average rate on return for investors in his company is at an incredible 31%.


#7. Folorunsho Alakija: $2.5 billion

Nigeria’s first female billionaire, Folorunsho Alakija, began her career as an Executive Secretary in Lagos, Nigeria. During that time, she was also launching her own tailoring company. The success of her venture earned her the position of National President for the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.


She applied for an oil prospector’s license in the early 1990’s. She later found out that the plot of land granted to her was sitting on one billion barrels of oil. She is a 60 percent owner of the drilling operation off the coast of Nigeria. After the discovery, the government tries to take the land back. After a long legal battle, Alakija was victorious, thus making her a multi-billionaire instantly.


#6. Patrice Motsepe: $2.7 billion

South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe is the owner of African Rainbow Minerals, and Africa’s first billionaire. Motsepe and his wife founded the Motsepe Foundation in 1999, in efforts to help create new jobs, support education, and improve the lives of the women, children and disable.


#5. Oprah Winfrey: $3.2 billion

Oprah Winfrey is the only female African-American billionaire. Overcoming a childhood of poverty, she became an actress, and launched her television production company, Harpo (Oprah spelled backwards), and had the most successful run in daytime talk show history. Her show, the Oprah Winfrey show, ran for 25 seasons. She later left the show tend to her cable television network called OWN (stands for Oprah Winfrey Network).


#4. Isabel Dos Santos: $4 billion

Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of the President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. President Santos has ruled over Angola since 1979, and his daughter Isabel reins over Angola’s top industries. These industries include: diamonds, telecom, cement, and banking.


#3. Mike Adenuga $4.6 billion

Mike Adenuga’s fortune was developed from in mobile telecommunications and oil productions. He founded the second largest mobile network in Nigeria, Globacom in 2006.

Globacom has also been approved to conduct business in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Conoil, his oil production company is one of Nigeria’s largest independent oil exploration companies. Conoil produces 100,000 barrels of oil daily.


#2. Mohammed Al Amoudi: $12.6

Ethiopian investor, Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi began investing in oil and mining industires in the 1980’s.  He invested in Ethiopia, as well as Morroco and in Sweden. He later branched into finance, hospitals, hotels and others. His two primary corporations, Corral Petroleum Holdings and Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies (MIDROC), employ over 40,000 people. Corral controls over 70% of Ethiopia’s oil output, and MIDROC is Ethiopia’s largest gold mining company operation.


#1. Aliko Dangote: $15.7 billion

Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Group operates in the commodities sector. This Nigerian magnate operates in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Togo, South Africa, and Zambia. Nigeria richest man employs 11,000 peopole through his Dangote Group. Dangote operates in industries such as: sugar refining, flourmills, food distribution, and cement. Dangote’s companies account for one-fourth of all of the businesses in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.



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