Top 10 Richest Men In East Africa (2022)

East Africa is an African region that houses several fast-growing economies. Observing the richest men in East Africa gives interesting perspectives about the region’s power rankings. This is because it not only shows the region’ position as compared to other parts of Africa, but also because it shows the state of the economies of each of the countries in the region. As a matter of fact; the more vibrant economies have been known to attract businessmen from outside the country, as we have seen recently in East Africa.

Familiar names such as Mo Dewji, Bhimji Depar Shah, and Uhuru Kenyatta continue to lead the pack, even though their huge portfolios and extensive wealth remain in the background of the continent’s rich list. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that East Africa is coming of age, and beginning to play a more important role in the economic structure of the continent.

Not only have East Africa’s business moguls successfully managed and maintained their existing businesses, some of them have actually grown their portfolios with bold entrances into new markets, thus improving their earning potentials quite significantly.

Top 10 Richest Men In East Africa

 1. Mo Dewji

Country: Tanzania

Net worth: $1.6 Billion

Mohammed Dewji is the Tanzanian Billionaire poster boy; he is the first Tanzanian to feature on the cover of Forbes Magazine.  Mohammed Dewji whose ancestors left Gujarat, India to become traders in East Africa, has thoroughly assimilated into life in Tanzania, even becoming a member of the Tanzanian Parliament.

With an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion dollars, he is the richest man in East Africa, and the 17th on the continent. Interesting, he was born relatively poor, in a house made of sand and mud. However, by the time he was through with secondary school, his father’s shop had grown into Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania (MeTL); a thriving import export business.

Mohammed Dewji, since taking over the company has grown business exponentially; he has turned a $30 million dollar business into a conglomerate reporting revenues in excess of $1.5 billion dollars.

From a trading company, MeTL is now involved in agriculture, manufacturing, trading, finance, mobile telephony, insurance, transport and logistics, real estate, and food processing and packaging. The conglomerate now has business presence in 11 countries and employs about 40,000 people.

 2. Sudhir Ruparelia

Country: Uganda

Net worth: $1.2 Billion

Sudhir Ruparelia was born on 17 January 1956 in Uganda. His father too was born in Uganda, after his great grandfather left India as a young man in order to take up trading opportunities in East Africa. Today, he is the chairman and controlling shareholder of the Ruparelia Group; which is a holding company with which he controls businesses in the areas of banking, insurance, education, broadcasting, real estate, hotels, and resorts, as well as floriculture.

This is not to say that Sudhir Ruparelia has had an easy life; he too has overcome mountainous challenges. For example; Ruparelia fled to the United Kingdom with his parents in 1972 at the age of 16, as a result of the dictator Idi Amin expelling all Asians from Uganda. While in the UK, worked casual jobs like Supermarkets, factories, and butcheries, and thus raised $25,000 with which he returned to Uganda in 1985.

When he landed in Uganda he immediately started business by selling beer, but in response to changing legislature he started a forex bureau, and then gradually built up his business empire. One of his biggest advantages as a businessman has been his ability to respond to changes by adapting quickly so as to remain in profit.

He was recently named the Honorary Consul Of Nepal To Uganda; thus making him a diplomat as well as a businessman.

 3. Amos Nzeyi

Country: Uganda

Net Worth: $1 Billion

Amos Nzeyi was born in 1947; and he is a Ugandan businessman, entrepreneur, and industrialist, known for being one of the richest people in the country, and having vast assets. Some of his business interests include: Crown Beverages Limited (which bottles Pepsi Products in Uganda), Hot Loaf Bakery, White Horse Inn, and Nandos Restaurant, to name a few.

 4. Bhimji Depar Shah

Country: Kenya

Net worth:  $700 Million

Depar Shah is Kenya’s torch bearer; he is the richest man in Kenya, and one of the wealthiest in East Africa. He is a businessman, industrialist, and entrepreneur. He has successfully built a business conglomerate out of the medium enterprise handed to him by his father. He is the Chairman and Founder of BIDCO Group, which is a conglomerate with interests in manufacturing of soaps, detergents, and baking powder.

He started with a single petrol station, and then garments manufacturing, before moving to soap production. Today that business is operating in 13 countries and has several thousands of workers. His son Vimal Shah serves as the company’s chief executive officer, and is set to take over the reins of the company when he retires.

 5. Alykhan Karmali

Country: Uganda

Net worth: $700 Million

Alykhan Karmali is a top Ugandan businessman; one of the richest in East Africa with an Illustrious business career. His grandfather came to Uganda from India around 1904, and started working in as a sales person in shops, before founding his own business. He was immediately popular with foreigners and locals alike, and so he was called “Mukwano gwa Bangi” which means friend of many.

He shortened the name, and built a big business with it. Today Alykhan Karmali is the managing director of Mukwano Industries Uganda Limited, a member company of the Mukwano Group, and he is known as a businessman, entrepreneur, industrialist, and philanthropist.

 6. Sameer Naushad

Country: Kenya

Net Worth: $700 Million

Sameer Naushad Merali is the son of the late Naushad Merali; Kenya’s wealthiest at the time of his death. He left behind a vast empire including finance, communication, real estate, and other industries. In fact, some sources already quote Sameer Naushad as the richest person in Kenya, although that is unlikely. He is already continuing his father’s business ventures and aggressively growing the empire.

 7. Jaswinder Singh Bedi

Country: Kenya

Net worth: $650

Jaswinder Singh Bedi is one Kenya’s most astute businessmen, and is well respected as one of the top business minds in the country. His fortune revolves around textiles; Jaswinder Bedi operates the biggest textile factory in Kenya, and no doubt one of the largest on the continent. He has recently been made the Chairman of the Export Promotion Council, and that is obviously in recognition of his great business acumen as a textile exporter, bringing in foreign exchange to Kenya.

 8. Uhuru Kenyatta

Country: Kenya

Net Worth: $500 Million

President Uhuru Kenyatta is not just one of the wealthiest persons in Kenya; he is also one of the most powerful. Born into the family of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta, he is a part holder to one of the biggest family fortunes on the continent; valued at over $2 billion, although controlled by his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta. He has interests in various businesses including Finance, Manufacturing, Communications, Real Estate, and Hospitality.

 9. Charles Magezi Mbire

Country: Uganda

Net worth: $500 Million

Charles Magezi Mbire is a businessman, entrepreneur, and industrialist who has for a long time made the list of the wealthiest persons in Uganda. Some of his businesses include: Telecommunications, banking, pharmaceuticals, fish farming, investments, and power generation.

 10. Mahendra Rambgai Patel

Country: Kenya

Net worth: $430 Million

Mahendra Rambgai Patel is one of Kenya’s most notable businessmen; he sits at the head of Ramco Group, which is a conglomerate with 50 companies operating within East Africa, and which has revenues in excess of USD 1 Billion. The company branches out into print, hardware, manufacturing, office supply and property, and hospitality.

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Finally

The richest men in East Africa have traditionally been from Kenya and Uganda; due to the fact that both countries have the population and economy to sustain big business. Surprisingly, however, Tanzania has also come out recently as a major force to be acknowledged; and has produced the billionaires with which to prove its seriousness as a place of doing business.