Forbes: These are the world’s 16 Black billionaires

10 of them are Americans, but only two are women

There are 2,640 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes.

Each year, the financial magazine tallies its list of the world’s billionaires using a snapshot of financial information, including the latest stock prices, exchange rates, assets and more. This year saw the number of billionaires worldwide fall by 87, with 34 Russian tycoons losing their spots after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Of the nearly 3,000 billionaires in the world, only 16 are Black. That’s fewer than 1%. Of those 16, only two are women. Ten are Americans.

As of 2024, here are the world’s 16 Black billionaires:

1. Aliko Dangote: $13.9 billion

Africa’s richest man, Dangote saw his fortune grow from around $11.5 billion on last year’s list.

Dangote founded and owns nearly 88% of publicly traded Dangote Cement. He also owns stakes in publicly traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.

2. Robert F. Smith: $9.2 billion

Smith made his fortune through the private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, which he founded in 2000. A graduate of Cornell, he pledged $50 million (personally and through a foundation) to the university in 2016. And in 2019, Smith announced his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Morehouse College Class of 2019.

3. David Steward: $7.6 billion

Steward is co-founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, an $11.2 billion IT provider whose customers include Citi, Verizon and the federal government.

4. Mike Adenuga: $6.9 billion

Adenuga, Nigeria’s second-richest man, made his first million at 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks, according to Forbes. But he built his fortune in telecom and oil production.

5. Abdulsamad Rabiu: $5.9 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.

6. Michael Jordan: $3.2 billion

NBA great Jordan, one of the 10 Americans on the list, still has sponsorship deals with Hanes, Gatorade and Upper Deck 19 years after retiring from basketball.

7. Oprah Winfrey: $2.8 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.

8. Patrice Motsepe: $2.7 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.

9. Jay-Z: $2.5 billion

In June 2019, Jay-Z became Hip-Hop’s first proven and viable billionaire, thanks to what Forbes called a “sprawling and diverse empire.”

10. Strive Masiyiwa: $1.9 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, have provided scholarships to more than 250,000 young Africans over the past 20 years through their Higherlife Foundation.

11. Alex Karp: $1.9 billion

Karp is the co-founder and CEO of the software firm Palantir Technologies.

12. Michael Lee-Chin: $1.4 billion

A native of Jamaica, Lee-Chin made his fortune investing in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, AIC Limited and other companies.

13. Rihanna: $1.4 billion

Making her debut on Forbes’ list, Rihanna has a projected net worth of $1.7 billion from her ever-expanding Fenty empire that has now branched out to sleepwear, lingerie and soon Fenty Kids.

14. Tyler Perry: $1.4 billion

Perry is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter. The media mogul also owns Tyler Perry Studios in the heart of Atlanta on the historic grounds of the former Fort McPherson Army base.

Between his basketball and business ventures, including a start up in Blaze Pizza, to endorsements from Nike and Coca-Cola, James has his own media company, called SpringHill Entertainment.

15. Tiger Woods: $1.3 billion

Woods took the golf world by storm and went pro in 1996. Most of his capital comes from his success in the sport and endorsement deals. His partnerships with Nike, Gatorade and Rolex helped tip him over the edge, sending his net worth slightly over $1 billion.

16. LeBron James : $1.2 billion

Between his basketball and business ventures, including a start up in Blaze Pizza, to endorsements from Nike and Coca-Cola, James has his own media company, called SpringHill Entertainment

Black History in Atlanta and Georgia

This year, the AJC’s Black History Month series will focus on the role of resistance to forms of oppression in the Black community. In addition to the traditional stories that we do on African American pioneers, these pieces will run in our Living and A sections every day this month. You can also go to for more subscriber exclusives on the African American people, places and organizations that have changed the world.