August 22, 2018

Ranks of African millionaires swell

Ranks of African millionaires swell

The sinking tide of commodity prices has lowered incomes for the rich and poor, but for a growing class of African millionaires, the effect may be less painful than for others.

By the end of last year there were about 170,000 people with more than a million dollars in their bank accounts across the continent, according to the London-based property consultancy Knight Franks’ Wealth Report 2016. In 2005, there were just over 90,000 in this club.

And as the number of rich Africans has grown, so has the variety of the sources of their income, diversifying away from oil and minerals that supported them in the past.

“The situation is changing and the wealthy are becoming rich from banking, telecommunications, property and other fields,” Andrew Shirley, the editor of the report, tells The National from London.

“With a growing middle class that wants things to buy, shopping centres are now an investment vehicle that are creating wealth in their own right. It’s certainly not only about commodities any longer.”

Even though the 54 countries that make up Africa have collectively suffered as commodity demand has fallen, the continent remains an important consideration for investors. According to Knight Frank, more than US$200 billion was collectively held by ultra-high-net-worth individuals across the continent. Read more

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