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The Wealthiest Black Men in the World, According to Forbes

With well over 2,000 billionaires in the world, only 15 of them are Black. That 15 equals fewer than one percent. Forbes recently released its 36th-annual ranking of the world’s richest people and while there is a large disparity of Black billionaires, we wanted to highlight some of the Black men who have defied the odds on their journey to becoming a billionaire. Check out the top ten wealthiest Black men in the world.

Aliko Dangote $14B Net Worth

Dangote is Africa's richest person, who founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent's largest cement producer. Dangote owns 85% of Dangote cement through a holding company. He also owns a fertilizer plant in Nigeria, which started operations last year. Dangote's grandfather was a successful trader of rice and oats in Kano, Nigeria's second-largest city and he continues to add wealth to the family name.

Mike Adenuga $7.3B Net Worth

Adenuga, Nigeria's second richest man, made his first million at the age of 26 by selling lace and distributing soft drinks. He wasn’t always rich. Adenuga received his MBA at Pace University in New York while supporting himself as a student by working as a taxi driver. His wealth has since been generated by his telecom and oil production company. He even has a mobile phone network, which is the third-largest operator in Nigeria, with more than 55 million subscribers.

Abdulsamad Rabiu $7B Net Worth

Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian company that focuses on cement production, sugar refining and real estate. He inherited land from his father and set up his own business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals. After merging his privately-owned Obu Cement company with Cement CO. of Northern Nigeria in 2020, the combined firm trades on the Nigerian stock exchange.

Robert F. Smith $6.7B Net Worth

Smith founded a private equity firm known as Vista Equity Partners back in 2000. The goal was to focus exclusively on investing in software companies. With over $92 billion in assets, Vista has grown to be one of the best-performing equity firms overall. Smith even earned an internship at Bell Labs on his way to becoming a billionaire. In 2019, the Cornell University graduate promised to wipe out the student debt of the 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

David Steward $5.8B Net Worth

Steward is the founder and chairman of IT provider World Wide Technology. He is the majority owner of the $14.5 billion (sales) company. The company's customers include Citi, Verizon and the federal government.

Kanye West $2B Net Worth

West is a man of many talents that range from being a music icon as well as an entrepreneur. Whether it’s his multi-year shoe deal where he designs for his brand name shoe Yeezy or his fairly new business venture with Gap, he is always finding new ways to use his creative genius. Sales of Yeezy Gap clothing hit $1 billion in the first year and did so well that it led to a higher-end line called Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga. There isn’t much Kanye can’t do and you can rest assured he’s not done yet.

Patrice Motsepe $3.3B Net Worth

Motsepe, the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, claimed his spot as a billionaire in 2008 all while becoming the first African American to make the Forbes list at that time. He also launched a private equity firm, known as African Rainbow Capital, which focuses on investing in Africa. Some of the other major accomplishments for Motsepe include his newly acquired ownership of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club where he is also the president. Ownership isn’t anything new to Motsepe as he started his own mining service business back in 1994 all while being the first Black partner of well-known law firm Bowman Gilfillan.

Michael Lee-Chin $2B Net Worth

Lee-Chin accumulated his wealth by investing in financial companies like National Commercial Bank Jamaica and AIC Limited, which he acquired in 1987. Under his leadership, the AIC managed more than $10 billion in assets by 2002.

Michael Jordan $1.7B Net Worth

Jordan is most known as the greatest of all time and won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. Over the course of his career, his salary totaled $90 million and earned around $1.8 billion in brand sponsorships. Jordan invested in the sports-betting firm DraftKings in 2020 and also became a NASCAR team co-owner.

Jay-Z $1.3B Net Worth

Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter has made tremendous success over his musical career but it's his diversified empire that keeps him on the Forbes' billionaires list. Carter has made millions off of his Armand de Brignac champagne and D'Ussé cognac. His empire ranges from entertainment company Roc Nation to Jean-Michel Basquiat art work.


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