- Five markets account for 56 percent of the continent’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and 90 percent of its billionaires.
- Mauritius is expected to experience the highest wealth growth rate at 75 percent over the next decade.
- South Africa ranks as one of the 20 largest prime residential markets in the world, well ahead of the other countries in Africa
When it comes to Africa wealth, only five countries hold more than half of Africa’s wealthiest persons. Despite all the signs pointing to Africa ascending towards the wealth ranks of the world, the scales are uneven.The recent Africa Wealth report by Henley and Partners in partnership with New World Wealth depicted interesting regional wealth records.
Africa holds an investable wealth worth around $2.4 trillion, an additional $3 billion from $2.1 trillion in 2022, where the region had 21 billionaires compared to 46 in 2023.
On the other hand, the millionaire population stand to rise by at least 42 percent over the next ten years.
The wealthy big five
The report highlighted the well-performing wealth market in South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and Morocco. These five markets account for 56 percent of the continent’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and 90 percent of its billionaires.
“There are currently 138,000 HNWIs with an investable wealth of USD 1 million or more living in Africa, 328 centi-millionaires worth USD 100 million or more, and 23 US dollar billionaires.” The report said.
Despite the political and economic challenges in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, these three markets have remained at the same place as in 2022.
“Despite a tough past decade, South Africa is still home to over twice as many HNWIs as any other African country and an impressive 30 percent of the continent’s centi-millionaires. Egypt takes the prize for the most billionaires. Mauritius boasts by far the highest wealth per capita (average wealth per person) in Africa, at $37,500, followed by South Africa at $10,880 and Namibia at $10,050,” the report stated.
Fastest growing markets
The report further showed how Rwanda, an East African nation that has transformed into a potential ICT hub of the region, is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
Rwanda has a compelling rags-to-riches story and is a small but growing market. Over the past two decades, it has experienced strong economic growth, averaging over seven percent GDP growth.
Despite being an economy pivoted on agriculture – a shift towards construction and tourism is sharpening the nation’s economy.
Mauritius is another nation with wealth creation potential that has picked the African Wealth Report attention.
The mixed economy nation, run by agriculture, exports financial services and tourism, made a strong stride toward excellence since its independence in 1968 to attain an Upper-Middle-Income economy.
“In terms of projections, Mauritius is expected to experience the highest wealth growth rate at 75 percent over the next decade (to 2032). This will make it the fourth fastest growing country in the world over this period in millionaire growth percentage terms, after Vietnam, India, and New Zealand,” African report.
On the other hand, the report brought mixed thoughts from think tanks about the region’s trend garnering wealth over time and space.
Louisa Mojela, Group Chairman of the black women-owned investment company, WIPHOLD, commented about the report’s tone on Africa’s wealth creation, arguing, “Known as the continent with the youngest and fastest growing population means that Africa naturally holds the greatest potential for investment prospects.
“Additionally, having the dubious honor of also being the poorest continent opens up a myriad of opportunities from an investment growth potential point of view. Without doubt, Africa provides the broadest and most fulfilling opportunities for impact investing.”
Wealthiest cities in Africa
Thanks to fast urbanization, industrialization, population, and job opportunities, Africa is expanding.
Brahim Coulibaly, director of Brookings—a US-based think tank, argues that about half of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be located in the region, with 20 economies expanding at an average rate of 5 percent or higher over the next five years, faster than the 3.6 percent rate for the global economy.
Although African cities such as Accra, Dakar, and Addis Ababa are argued to be the fastest-growing cities, they are not found in the latest African Wealth report.
On that note, the report argued that four of Africa’s 10 top wealthiest cities are in South Africa—Johannesburg, has the most millionaires in Africa, with 14,600, Cairo, in 2nd place with 7,400 resident HNWIs, is just ahead of Cape Town, which has 7,200.
The 2022 third fastest growing city—Lagos, is in 4th position with 5,400 millionaires, and Nairobi is 5th with 4,700. The other two South African cities in the Top 10 are Durban, in 6th place with 3,600 and Pretoria, in the 8th spot with 2,400 HNWIs.
However, the report showed South Africa is still home to some of the world’s upmarket residential areas, including Clifton in Cape Town, Beachy Head Drive in Plettenberg Bay, and Sandhurst in Johannesburg.
There are approximately 3,700 homes in South Africa that are valued at over $ 1 million.
“By this measure, South Africa ranks as one of the 20 largest prime residential markets in the world, well ahead of the other countries in Africa and in line with big emerging markets such as India and Brazil,” the report argued.
Despite economic challenges sucking the life out of the region’s progress, including inequality, corruption and political instability, Africa stands to become the face of wealth creation.