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Dangote at the World Economic Forum, 2011
Dangote at the World Economic Forum, 2011

Black billionaires are individuals who are of predominantly African ancestry with a net worth of at least US$1 billion.

According to the 2021 Forbes ranking of the world's billionaires, Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote had a net worth of $11.5 billion and was the world's richest black man.[1]

Other billionaires of African descent on the 2021 Forbes list included Nigerian businessman Mike Adenuga with $6.1 billion, American investor Robert Smith with $6 billion, American businessman David Steward with $3.7 billion, American media mogul Oprah Winfrey with $2.7 billion, South African gold magnate Patrice Motsepe with $2.9 billion, Byaruhanga Kimberly Junior Southern African mining magnate, entrepreneur and investor with $2.8 billion, Tiger Woods, Barbadian music artist/entrepreneur Rihanna with $1.7 billion,[2] American sports executive Michael Jordan with $1.6 billion, Jamaican-Canadian businessman Michael Lee-Chin with $1.6 billion, Nigerian businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu with $1.6 billion, American rapper Jay-Z with $1.4 billion, Nigerian businesswoman Folorunsho Alakija with $1.1 billion, Mo Ibrahim of the United Kingdom with $1.1 billion, and American media mogul Tyler Perry with $1 billion.[3]

From 2001 to 2003, Forbes listed American television network executive Bob Johnson as a billionaire,[4] but dropped him after his fortune was split in his divorce.[5] He returned to the Forbes Billionaire list in 2007 with a net worth of $1.1 billion. In 2008 Johnson's wealth dropped again, this time to approximately $1.0 billion[6] and by 2009 he fell off the list again. Nigerian petroleum executive Femi Otedola briefly emerged as a billionaire in 2009, but did not remain one in subsequent years. He returned to the list in the company of a fellow Nigerian, sugar tycoon Abdul Samad Rabiu, in 2016, but both were dropped from the rankings the following year.[7]

Multiracial billionaires with significant African ancestry have been identified over the years. Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi, of Hadhrami Yemeni and Ethiopian descent, has been on the Forbes billionaire list since 2002 and in 2012 had a net worth of $12.5 billion.[8] Michael Lee-Chin of Canada, who is Jamaican of Chinese and Black ancestry, was on the list from 2001 to 2010 but dropped off in 2011.[9] Isabel dos Santos is of both Angolan and Russian ancestry. Alex Karp, cofounder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, has an African-American mother.[10] Rihanna is of both Guyanese and Irish descent.[11][12]

Of all the above-mentioned billionaires identified by Forbes, only Oprah Winfrey qualified for Forbes 2009's list of the world's 20 most powerful billionaires, a list which considered not only wealth, but also market sway and political clout. Winfrey was considered especially powerful because of her influence on American consumer choices and her pivotal role in Barack Obama's successful 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.[13]

List of Black billionaires

(Wealth valuations by Forbes magazine)

Year Black billionaires Bi/Multiracial billionaires with Black ancestry All billionaires
2001 1: Bob Johnson, $1.6 billion United States 1: Michael Lee-Chin, $1 billionJamaicaCanada[14] 538; Richest: Bill Gates, $114 billion United States
2002 1: Bob Johnson, $1 billion United States 2: 497; Richest: Bill Gates, $52.8 billionUnited States
2003 2: 2: 476; Richest: Bill Gates, $40.7 billion United States
2004 1: Oprah Winfrey, $1.1 billion United States 2: 587; Richest: Bill Gates, $46.6 billion United States
2005 1: Oprah Winfrey, $1.3 billion United States 2: 691; Richest: Bill Gates, $46.5 billionUnited States
2006 1: Oprah Winfrey, $1.4 billionUnited States 2: 793; Richest: Bill Gates, $50 billionUnited States
2007 2: 2: 946; Richest: Bill Gates, $56 billionUnited States
2008 5: 2: 1,125; Richest: Warren Buffett, $62 billionUnited States
2009 5: 2: 793; Richest: Bill Gates, $40 billionUnited States
2010 3: 2: 1,011; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family, $53.5 billion[28] Mexico
2011 5: 1: Mohammad Al Amoudi, $12.3 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia 1,210; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family, $74 billionMexico
2012[31] 5: 1: Mohammad Al Amoudi, $12.3 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia 1,210; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family, $74 billionMexico
2013 5: 2: 1,426; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family, $73 billionMexico
2014 7: 2: 1,645; Richest: Bill Gates, $76 billion United States
2016 11: 2: 1,810; Richest: Bill Gates, $75 billion United States
2019 11: 4: 2,153; Richest: Jeff Bezos, $110 billion United States
2020 13: 4: 2,095; Richest: Jeff Bezos, $113 billion United States
2021 13: 6: 2,755; Richest: Elon Musk, $271.9 billion South AfricaCanadaUnited States[45]

References

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  2. ^ Berg, Madeline. "Fenty's Fortune: Rihanna Is Now Officially A Billionaire". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  3. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong. "The Black Billionaires 2019". Forbes.
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  7. ^ Obusan, Claire. "In Pictures: New Billionaires". Forbes.
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  10. ^ "Alex Karp, unconventional purveyor of powerful surveillance tools". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2022-12-11.
  11. ^ Spivey, Lisa (Jan 2007). "Rihanna, The New Cover Girl". Los Angeles Sentinel. Vol. 72, no. 23. p. B.5. ISSN 0890-4340.
  12. ^ Walker, Tim (October 31, 2011). "Rihanna: Out for revenge". The Independent. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
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  21. ^ "#618 Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes. March 8, 2007.
  22. ^ "#462 Oprah Winfrey". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
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  24. ^ "#503 Patrice Motsepe". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
  25. ^ "#677 Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
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  35. ^ "Mike Adenuga - Forbes profile". Retrieved 1 January 2023.
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