By Ryan Velez
Go ahead and name some of the richest Black people you can think of. Oprah and Michael Jordan – these are some good names, but you may be lacking a global perspective. When it comes to the richest Black billionaires on earth, you need to look abroad, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
To be fair, both Jordan and Oprah are on the top 10 list, but maybe not as high as you think. “Jordan made $90 million playing in the NBA. Since retiring he’s made another fortune through endorsement deals and other partnerships. He has a long-standing deal with Nike, for instance. Jordan is also one of the owners of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. These days he makes more in one year through his various ventures than he did during his entire professional basketball career,” reports Celebrity Net Worth. Today, he was #9 on the list at a $1.5 billion net worth.
Oprah was at #5, and the only African-American woman on the list at $3.2 billion, but not the only woman. Right above her is Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the President of Angola who has reigned over a violent regime since 1979. Her role puts her in control of Angola’s banking, diamond, cement, and telecom industries. While her defenders call her a “brilliant investor” it was later revealed that Jose directly transferred valuable assets to his daughter.
One other name that should be mentioned is the only other African-American on this list, Robert F. Smith, founder of the private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners. Launched in 2000 as an enterprise software, his specialty isn’t as exciting as basketball or TV, which is why he is a relative unknown. However, he clearly has a shrewd mind, as he has delivered a whopping 31 percent average annual rate of return to its investors since 2000, and put him at #8 on the list at $2.5 billion.
So, who takes the crown of #1? Commodities titan Aliko Dangote. Based in Nigeria but doing business across Africa, The Dangote Group employs more than 11,000 people in industries such as sugar refining, flourmills, food distribution, and cement. In fact, it accounts for 1/4th of all businesses on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.