follow the money

Where Africa’s rich live

By Jeune Afrique

Posted on September 13, 2019 12:42

A tour guide stands with a group of tourists at a viewpoint overlooking Port Louis © A new report by AfrAsia Bank says Mauritius has the highest per capita wealth in Africa. REUTERS/Ed Harris
A new report by AfrAsia Bank says Mauritius has the highest per capita wealth in Africa. REUTERS/Ed Harris

A country’s wealth refers to the “net assets held by all individuals living in a country, including all their assets (real estate, cash, shares, commercial interests) minus liabilities,” the report states. This equation gives more populated countries a significant advantage.

  • The total wealth held in Africa “has increased by only 14% over the last ten years (2008-2018),” according to the report.
  • Due to a lack of sufficiently reliable sources, data for Algeria, the DRC and Zimbabwe were not included in the report.

Despite Africa containing 16% of the world’s population, it has only accumulated 1% of the world’s wealth of $204trn.

  • Africa’s wealth totalled $2.2 trn.
  • At least 42% of Africa’s wealth ($920m) is held by high net worth individuals.
  • 23 billionaires live on the African continent.
  • On average, the net wealth per African is $1,900, compared to $27,000 worldwide.

Future prospects

AfrAsia predicts that total wealth held on the African continent will climb by 35% over the next 10 years, reaching $3trn by 2028.

Mauritius, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda are emerging as the best performing countries on the continent, set to more than double their wealth over the next decade.

South Africa, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire are expected to experience moderate wealth growth of around 30%.

Morocco, Egypt and Nigeria are likely to face difficulties due to their low growth prospects of around 10% to 20%.

South Africa’s woes

Despite South Africa’s ongoing economic worries, it remains the richest on the continent with a total wealth of $649bn. The report cites several factors affecting its performance: mismanagement of large public companies, weaker currency, depressed property market, and the exodus of wealthy individuals.

Mauritius on the move

“Mauritius was the best performer in Africa over the past decade. It was also the second fastest growing wealth market worldwide during this period (after China),” stated the report.

Safety is one of the key drivers of growth in any country, and Mauritius comes out on top. It is rated as the safest country in Africa, according to New World Wealth.

The report cites several reasons for its stellar performance, including a thriving financial sector, rising residential and commercial property prices, and a large number of wealthy immigrants over the past decade.

This article first appeared in Jeune Afrique.

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