Why aren't there many millionaires in Africa?

Wealth: There are up to 200 billionaires hiding in Africa

Starving children, violence and drought - that is often enough the news from Africa. But there is also a lot of wealth on the continent: According to Mark Mobius, asset manager at Templeton Emerging Markets Emerging Markets in London, there are up to 200 "hidden" billionaires who could emerge in the future.

“There's a lot of hidden wealth there,” says Mobius. “You hear about Dangote, but there may be 200 more with similar resources that we don't see. The shadow economy is very large. "

Aliko Dangote is the richest African. This year alone, he has grown his wealth by $ 3 billion to $ 13 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Dangote also benefits from the continent's strong economic growth.

Legitimate prosperity

The African economy is likely to grow by an average of six percent per year over the next five years, according to the analysts from the rating agency Moody's. The prerequisite, however, is that the most important trading partner, Europe, grows between zero and two percent during this period.

Dangote controls Dangote Group, one of the largest conglomerates on the continent. The group comprises publicly traded businesses in the cement, sugar, flour and salt segments and accounts for about a third of the market volume of the Nigerian stock exchange. However, many of the richest Africans do not have publicly traded companies, says Mobius. Your wealth is therefore difficult to assess.

"It is clear that these extremely wealthy people will begin to want to legitimize their wealth by going public," says Mobius. “Many of these people have fled to London or other countries to maintain their prosperity. But this is getting more and more difficult because of the anti-bribery measures and all the other things that are going on in the US and in other parts of the world. "

Mining is booming

Much of the "hidden wealth" can be found in the mining industry, according to the asset manager. Dangote, for example, stated in May that he "must" invest $ 7.5 billion in mining and other industries over the next four years. Mobius himself is currently examining the purchase of shares in Kenyan banks, whereby he is primarily interested in institutions that issue credit cards, open savings accounts and offer money transfer services.

The danger of new riots in the run-up to the upcoming elections in Kenya in 2013 is not a significant aspect, he says. In 2007, a controversial election result led to violent clashes in which more than 1,000 people were killed. "The general view right now is that they have learned their lesson," says Mobius. "I don't see this as a big thing."