Naira devaluation, cement demand pull Dangote down World rich list
Familiar names dominated the World’s rich list released by Forbes Magazine on Monday but Nigeria’s and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote , was the biggest loser on this year’s list when his wealth plummetted from $25 billion last year to $14.7 billion.
The $10 billion drop, according to the magazine, was propelled by a weaker Nigerian currency and shrinking demand for cement, his largest asset. He still retains the title of Africa’s richest man.
However, despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro, the ranks of the world’s richest defied global economic turmoil and expanded yet again. Forbes found a record 1,826 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion a year ago. The total includes 290 new billionaires and a record 197 women, up from 172 last year.
Bill Gates is once again the richest person on the planet, a title he’s held for 16 of the past 21 years. His fortune grew $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion, in spite a gift of $1.5 billion in Microsoft shares to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg moves up 5 spots to number 16, his first time ranked among the world’s 20 richest.
At age 30, Zuckerberg is also the leader in a youth revolution that has minted a growing number of billionaires under the age of 40. The youngest billionaire in the world is Evan Spiegel, 24, co-founder of photo-messaging app Snapchat. Silicon Valley tech companies have spawned other young new billionaires including cofounders of car-hailing service Uber, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, and their first employee Ryan Graves. Elizabeth Holmes, who runs blood- testing firm Theranos, debuts on the global list as the youngest self-made woman at age 31.