DESPITE THERE being 1,125 billionaires on planet earth according to the Forbes Rich List with an estimated combined net worth of $4.4 trillion - among the high flyers are people of colour albeit they count for less then one per cent.
Collectively African American are the wealthiest black people in the globe but Africans are now giving African Americans a run for their money and are making more dollar signs then ever before catapulting them onto Forbes World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List.
Mohammed Al Amoudi
Sitting happily at the top of Forbes World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List is Ethiopian born Mohammed Al Amoudi who is the richest black person alive with a total net worth of $9 billion.
Ranked 97th on the Forbes World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List, Al Amoudi made his fortune in construction and real estate before betting on Swedish and Moroccan oil refineries. His svenska petroleum conducts oil exploration from the Nordic shelf to the Ivory Coast.
Al Amoudi is the largest foreign investor in Sweden and the largest private investor in Ethiopia, investing in diverse assets such as hotels, gold mines and a food processing plant.
Nigerian Aliko Dangote is the second richest black person, taking 334th position on Forbes’ World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List. He is also the richest African citizen.
Owner of The Dangote Group, which has an estimated current net worth of around US$3.3 billion with operations in Benin, Ghana and Togo, Dangote’s businesses include food processing, cement manufacturing and freight.
Dangote hit the jackpot when his company was listed on the Nigerian stock exchange last year.
Surprisingly Oprah Winfrey is 462nd on Forbes World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List worth over $2.5 billion.
Winfrey was listed as the world’s only black billionaire in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She has been dubbed as the first black billionairess and has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time and arguably the most influential woman in the world.
Winfrey has overtaken former EBay CEO Meg Whitman as the richest self-made woman in America.
Her internationally syndicated talk show - The Oprah Winfrey Show has earned her multiple Emmy Awards and is the highest-rated talk show in the history of television.
Winfrey is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award nominated actress, and a magazine publisher.
Sudanese-born Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim sits side-by-side with Oprah Winfrey on Forbes World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List worth over $2.5 billion.
Dr. Ibrahim is a global expert in mobile communications with a distinguished academic and business career launching the first cellular service in the UK in 1985 and founding Mobile Systems International (MSI), a technology consultancy and software business in 1989.
Not stopping there, Dr. Ibrahim established Celtel mobile networks in Africa in 1998, which now has operations in 16 countries. The company was sold to MTC Kuwait in 2005 for $3.4billion.
Johannesburg mining magnate Patrice Motsepe is South Africa’s first black billionaire and is dubbed the “prince of mines” due to the vast fortune he has amassed through his company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).
With an estimated net worth of $2.4 billion, Motsepe is the 503rd richest person on Forbes World’s Wealthiest Billionaires List worth over $2.5 billion.
Since launching ARM in 1994 Motsepe has built his company into an $875 million (sales) mining conglomerate with interests in a wide swath of minerals - precious metals (platinum and its cousins), nickel, chrome, iron, manganese and coal.
The business mogul also holds a 5.5% stake in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company outside Cape Town.
Michael Lee-Chin knows how to turn a dollar joyfully taking the 677th position on the Forbes World Wealthiest Billionaires List with a net worth estimated to be $1.8 billion.
The Jamaica native who lives in Canada is the founder and Chairman of Portland Holdings Inc, Executive Chairman of AIC Limited (a Canadian mutual fund), and the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica.
Additionally Lee-Chin owns stakes in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, Total Finance in Trinidad & Tobago and Columbus Communications, a cable and communications company in Barbados. His personal real estate portfolio includes 250 acres of beachfront property in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and homes in Canada and Florida.
The Robert Johnson everybody knows is now only the 1062nd richest person in the world and was America’s first black billionaire.
The Mississippi born entrepreneur made his fortune when he create Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1979.
Eleven years later, BET became the first black-controlled company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As of 2007, BET reaches more than 65 million U.S. homes and expanded into other BET related television channels that make up the BET Networks - BETJ, and digital cable channels BET Hip-Hop and BET Gospel.
In 1998, Johnson took the company private, buying back all of its publicly traded stock. However in 1999, Viacom bought BET for $3 billion.
Johnson continued to be the company's chairman and CEO for six years but in 2005, Johnson turned over the titles of President and Chief Operating Officer of BET to Debra L. Lee, a former BET vice president.
Staying true to his entrepreneurial talents, Johnson owns interest in 100 hotels in America. He is also the first person of colour to hold a controlling interest in an American professional sports team- Charlotte Bobcats with rapper Nelly and NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Johnson other investments include recording studios (Three Keys Music), restaurants (Posh).