Saturday, November 22, 2014

The African wealthy

Two of East Africa's telecom industry investors have made it to Forbes' 'Africa's 50 Richest' list which was released this week.
The two are Kenya's Naushad Meralli (who's interests include a minority stake in Airtel Kenya and also also sold his 49 per cent stake in Swift Global to Liquid Telecom) and Tanzania's Rostam Azizi (who's cited as Tanzania's first billionaire and sold a 17.2 per cent stake in Vodacom Tanzania to South Africa's Vodacom Group for US $250 million but still retains 17.8 per cent of Vodacom Tanzania).
Rostam Azizi, apart from making the list as one of only two East Africans from the telecom sector, is the only dollar billionaire from the region with a recorded worth of US $1 billion.
"His other assets include Caspian Mining, the largest contract-mining firm in Tanzania, which performs work for mining giants like BHP Billiton and Barrick Gold. He also owns residential and commercial real estate in Dubai and Oman. He got his start in his family's trading business, then broke out on his own to cut deals with international companies looking for partners in Tanzania," reads the Forbes' citation on Azizi It concluded.
Rostam Azizi currently occupies the number 26 spot on the list, at the age of 50 while 63-year-old Naushad Merali, the founder of Sameer Group, sits at position 46.
Forbes' citation on Meralli states: "In May he stepped down as chairman of Bharti Airtel Kenya, a position he had occupied for the last 15 years. He still keeps a 5% shareholding in the mobile phone network. Merali has been selling off assets. In January 2013, he sold a 49% stake in Kenyan Internet service provider Swift Global to UK-based Liquid Telecom."
Aliko Dangote, who sits at the top of the list with a net worth of US $21.6 billion, heads the list. Other telecom sector investors in the list are Mike Adenuga (Nigeria), Naguib Sawiris (Egypt), Tunde Folawiyo (Nigeria), Hakeem Belo-Osagie (Nigeria) and Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwe).
  1. Aliko Dangote
  2. Johann Rupert & family
  3. Nicky Oppenheimer & family
  4. Nassef Sawiris
  5. Christoffel Wiese
  6. Mike Adenuga
  7. Mohamed Mansour
  8. Isabel dos Santos
  9. Issad Rebrab & family
  10. Naguib Sawiris

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