The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This statement no longer applies to the Western capitalist world. It has long crossed the Atlantic and settled in Africa, the world’s poorest continent, which is fast becoming a nest for billionaires.
The ‘dark continent’ now boasts 55 billionaires from 10 countries with an average net worth of $2.6 billion, UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported this week on its digital edition.
And what these billionaires are doing to help the continent eradicates its massive poverty is anyone’s guess.
A booming economy in other parts of the world would have meant a fair redistribution of income through massive investment in social programmes for poverty alleviation and job creation.
But Africa’s booming economy is, on the contrary, producing billionaires and millionaires, many of whom allegedly have close ties with the continent’s corrupt and dictatorial regimes.
These super rich are worth a combined total of $143.88bn (£89.27bn), the British newspaper reported, adding that with 55 billionaires, Africa is comparable to Latin America, which has 51 at the last Forbes count.
The new study was undertaken by African business magazine and news service Ventures Africa, the Telegraph said.
Ventures Africa is the brainchild of Chi-Chi Okonjo.
The newspaper quoted Okonjo as saying that this billionaires’ new list is not only the most extensive list ever compiled, but also reveals the ‘true wealth’ of Africa’s richest people.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a cement, sugar and flour tycoon, is still Africa’s richest man. His fortune is estimated at $20.2 billion, reports say. Dangote was born in Kano, northern Nigeria, on 10 April 1957.
While the continent’s poverty continues to increase and claim lives, billionaires continue their rise to the top.
Le monde à l’envers!
Photo: Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.