Johann Rupert ends Dangote’s 12-year record as Africa’s wealthiest person.
In a remarkable shift in Africa’s billionaire ranks, Johann Rupert and his family have surpassed Nigerian business titan Aliko Dangote to become the continent’s richest. This move at the top ends Dangote’s 12-year reign as Africa’s wealthiest person.
According to Forbes‘ most recent billionaire rankings, Rupert and his family are ranked 201st in the world, whereas Dangote is now ranked 219th. The change in fortunes might be ascribed to a significant devaluation of the Nigerian naira, which fell by almost 40% last June.
This depreciation had a substantial impact on Dangote’s riches, which was mostly generated in the naira, which ended 2023 as one of the world’s worst-performing currencies, according to Bloomberg.
Dangote’s fortune, which is mostly based on his cement, sugar, and wheat companies in Nigeria, fell to $9.5 billion last year, a nearly one-third fall from the previous year.
Meanwhile, Johann Rupert, born almost 73 years ago in Stellenbosch, South Africa, has steadily increased his wealth. Rupert, who leads the Swiss luxury goods giant Compagnie Financiere Richemont and the South African investment holding company Remgro, has seen his net worth, along with his family’s, skyrocket.
Notably, Richemont controls prestige brands like as Cartier and Montblanc. Rupert’s wealth increased from $7.1 billion in 2021 to $11.1 billion in 2023, propelling him to the 157th rank on Forbes’ World Billionaire Ranking.
In addition to his economic accomplishments, Rupert, a well-known rugby fan, owns a stake in the Saracens English rugby team and controls Anthonij Rupert Wines, which is named after his late brother. However, he has a major regret: he passed up the opportunity to buy 50% of Gucci for $175 million.
Johann Peter Rupert’s path to become Africa’s richest person was highlighted by a great commercial career and personal accomplishments. After beginning his business apprenticeship in New York City, he returned to South Africa to build Rand Merchant Bank and eventually joined his father’s company, the Rembrandt Group.
Rupert formed Compagnie Financiere Richemont in 1988 and has received various honours, including being named a “Officier” of the French “Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur.”
Rupert, a man with various interests, has made important contributions to sports and conservation. Following his brother’s terrible death, he established the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and assumed ownership of the L’Ormarins wine estate.
He is deeply committed to environmental preservation and actively participates in conservation activities, administering around 25,000 hectares in the Graaff Reinet area and serving as chair of the Peace Parks Foundation.
This shift in the rankings of Africa’s wealthiest persons demonstrates not only the dynamic nature of global wealth, but also the influence of economic upheavals on personal fortunes.
As Rupert ascends to the presidency, he builds on his father’s heritage of financial prowess and philanthropic efforts, forging a notable storyline in the continent’s economic environment.