There are 2,043 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes, but only 13 of them are black. That’s fewer than 1 percent.
Of those 13, only three are women, and four are Americans. Each year, Forbes tallies its list of the world’s billionaires using a snapshot of financial information like the latest stock prices and exchange rates and the shared fortunes of individuals’ families and/or parents.
As of March 2019, here are the world’s 13 black billionaires.
12 (tie). Folorunsho Alakija: $1.1 billion
Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company. Famfa Oil says it will likely operate through 2024.
12 (tie). Mo Ibrahim: $1.1 billion
Ibrahim, who is British, founded African mobile phone company Celtel. He became a billionaire when he sold it. Now he works to improve the lives of African citizens through the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
11. Abdulsamad Rabiu: $1.6 billion
Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate with interests in sugar refining, cement production, real estate, steel, port concessions, manufacturing, oil gas and shipping.
9 (tie). Michael Lee-Chin: $1.9 billion
A native of Jamaica, Lee-Chin made his fortune investing in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, AIC Limited and other companies. He still owns a 65-percent stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica.
9 (tie). Michael Jordan: $1.9 billion
NBA great Jordan, one of the three Americans on the list, still has sponsorship deals with Hanes, Gatorade and Upper Deck 15 years after retiring from basketball.
7 (tie). Isabel Dos Santos: $2.3 billion
The oldest daughter of Angola's former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, own shares of various Portuguese companies. A spokesperson told Forbes she "is an independent business woman and a private investor representing solely her own interests."
7 (tie).Patrice Motsepe: $2.3 billion
Motsepe was the first black African to appear on the Forbes list. He became a billionaire in 2008 as founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.
6. Strive Masiyiwa: $2.4 billion
Masiyiwa “overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998,” according to Forbes. He and his wife, Tsitsi, support orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho through their Higherlife Foundation.
5. Oprah Winfrey: $2.5 billion
In addition to the media, entertainment and business empire she’s built, Winfrey owns shares in Weight Watchers and has a partnership with Apple. She has donated nearly half a billion dollars to charities throughout her career, including more than $100 million to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
4. David Steward: $3 billion
Steward is co-founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, an $11.2 billion (sales) IT provider whose customers include Citi, Verizon and the federal government.
3. Robert Smith: $5 billion
The third American on the list, Smith made his fortune through the private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, he founded in 2000. A graduate of Cornell, he pledged $50 million (personally and through a foundation) to the university in 2016.
2. Mike Adenuga: $9.1 billion
Adenuga, Nigeria’s second-richest man, made his first million at 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks, according to Forbes. He built his fortune in telecom and oil production.
1. Aliko Dangote: $10.9 billion
Africa’s richest man Dangote founded and owns nearly 88 percent of publicly traded Dangote Cement. He also owns stakes in publicly traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
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