No Kenyan features in this year’s Forbes’ list of African dollar billionaires continuing the country’s exile from the table of men.
Kenya’s exile has nothing to do with the lack of dollar billionaires in the country, certainly not, but due to a number of factors, Kenyan billionaires do not feature in the prominence list of the most credible wealth tracker in the world.
In 2011, President Uhuru Kenyatta was ranked as the 26th wealthiest person in the continent with an estimated worth of USD500 Million (Ksh53 billion) but a year later he was jettisoned on account that Forbes could not establish the ownership percentage of the land under the Kenyatta’s clan name.
The magazine is also conscious of the sources of wealth of the men and women it ranks which could explain why some Kenyan billionaires remain AWOL in the rich list.
Chris Kirubi, on the other hand, missed out by virtue of not hitting the USD1 billion mark, his wealth was estimated to be at USD300 million.
President Kenyatta’s wealth has grown exponentially since then. The recent merger of CBA Bank and NIC eased the head of state, his brother Muhoho Kenyatta and their mother Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta to 13.2% shareholding of the country’s third-largest bank by assets which features among many of their other assets.
Forbes failure to track a dollar billionaire in the country is in sync with the findings of the AfrAsia Bank’s Wealth Report 2019 which found that Kenya was the only ‘Big 5’ African economy without dollar billionaires.
AfrAsia Bank observed South Africa (5), Egypt (6), Nigeria (4) and Morocco (3) could all point at locals as dollar billionaires as Kenya looked in from the outside.
The 2020 edition of the Forbes ranking of the richest people in the continent shows Nigerian business mogul Aliko Dangote has maintained his position as the king kong of the continental money league with his wealth standing at USD10.1 billion(Ksh1 trillion).
Second in the list is Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawaris who generates his wealth from the construction and chemical industries sits preety behind Dangote with an estimated wealth of USD8 billion.
Third, on the list is Nigerian telecommunications and oil billionaire Mike Adenuga with an estimated net worth of USD7.7 billion while South African diamonds dealer Nicky Oppenheimer features at the fourth position. South African billionaire Johann Ruppert who derives his wealth from luxury goods chains closes list of the five wealthiest individuals in the continet.
Isabela Dos Santos?
Forbes’ decision to rank Angolan businesswoman Isabela Dos Santos as the 13th richest woman in Africa is likely to raise some eyebrows considering that she came under serious scrutiny after document leaks exposed how most of her USD2.2 billion wealth which Forbes says was generated through investments was acquired through exploiting the Angolan economy when her fatherJosé Eduardo dos Santos served as president of the resourceful country between 1979 and 2017.