Over 50% of Africa’s accumulative wealth is controlled by just three countries according to this year’s Africa Wealth Report (pdf) authored by UK investment consultancy firm Henley & Partners in partnership with South African wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth.
In order, South Africa 🇿🇦, Egypt 🇪🇬, and Nigeria 🇳🇬 command $651 billion, $307 billion, and $228 billion in private wealth making up $1.18 trillion, which translates into 56% of Africa’s $2.1 trillion total wealth. This is different from GDP, a monetary measure of the market value of all the goods and services produced in a given time period in a nation.
AFRICA’S WEALTHIEST NATIONS
South Africa 🇿🇦, Egypt 🇪🇬 and Nigeria 🇳🇬, Morocco 🇲🇦 and Kenya 🇰🇪 are Africa’s richest countries.
Morocco and Kenya close the top five list in the continent with total private wealth equating $125 billion and $91 billion, respectively.
“From a global perspective, South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt were among the top 15 nationalities in terms of the inquiries Henley & Partners received last year.”
“South Africa was in 5th place globally, with growth of 38% in 2021, Nigeria in 7th place with growth of 15% and Egypt in 14th place with growth of 25%,” Dominic Volek, group head of private clients at Henley & Partners says in the report.
Showing how much the top wealthiest nations affect Africa’s total wealth, in the last 10 years, South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria have had a negative private wealth growth rate of -12%, -23%, and -27% respectively, leading to a 7% decline in Africa’s wealth growth from 2011.
|Country||Total Private |
Wealth (billion $)
>$ 1 million
The approximate number of people with net assets of $1 million or more (or what the survey dubs high net worth individuals) in Africa adds up to 136,000 but those whose assets are worth over $10 million are just 6,700.
About 305 Africans own private property worth at least $100 million with the content only having 21 dollar billionaires.
The top five cities where most dollar millionaires live are Johannesburg, Cairo, Cape Town, Lagos, and Nairobi at 16,000, 8,200, 6,900, 5,500 and 5,400 respectively.
According to the firm’s South Africa managing partner Amanda Smit, over the past decade, Mauritius 🇲🇺 was “the fastest growing wealth market in Africa in percentage growth terms, with growth of 74% between 2011 and 2021.”
Further, the island nation doubles as the highest wealth per capita in Africa of $34,500.
AFRICA’S WEALTH FUTURE
So far, the New World Wealth has predicted a healthy wealth growth of 38% for Africa in the next decade, and eastern African countries are set to anchor this rise, with “over 60% growth expected in Uganda and Rwanda by 2031, and over 50% in Kenya and Zambia.”
It confirms that this will be driven by strong growth in the technology and professional services sectors.
According to the report, “South Africa is home to the largest luxury market in Africa by revenue, followed by Kenya and then Morocco.”.
The African wealth management market is projected to grow by 60% over the next decade.
The study shows Africa’s highest wealth was recorded in 2012 at $2.4 trillion while 2017 had the highest number of dollar millionaires at 148,000.
However, the continent has been heavily criticized for minting millionaires and leaving out hundreds of millions of citizens in poverty.