We take a look at the current richest politicians in Africa. Everywhere in the world, Politicians are among the wealthiest people around, it seems that politics is the preserve of the rich and powerful. This is perhaps more evident in Africa, where money, wealth, and fame are the factors that determine the success of a person’s political career, rather than ideology or political discourse.
In Africa, politics is a very lucrative business, and it often goes along with controlling the nation’s wealth. Political and social policies are often determined by politicians, and this often calls for a lot of lobbying, and lobbying cannot be done without the presence of cash.
Without any further ado, let us go straight to discovering the wealthiest politicians in Africa.
Top 10 Richest Politicians in Africa
1. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida – $5 Billion
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is perhaps the most notable political figure in Nigeria. He was head of state of Nigeria from 1985 until his resignation in 1993. And since then, he has been one of the biggest underground political figures. IBB as he is called is rumoured to be ridiculously wealthy, even though he has often come out to refute those claims. However, the information in the public domain states that he owns more than half of Fruitex, which is a London-based business, and also nearly a Quarter of Globacom, which is Nigeria’s third-largest mobile communications company, with a presence in several African countries. According to sources, he is worth at least 5 billion dollars.
2. Olusegun Obasanjo – $4 Billion
Olusegun Obasanjo is a former military head of state of Nigeria, and also a two-term president of Nigeria, as well as one of the most energetic and influential statesmen in Nigeria and Africa. But for such a respected political figure, his wealth has often been a source of controversy.
Olusegun Obasanjo is rumoured to be one of the richest citizens in Nigeria, and some of his interests include Agriculture, Hospitality, Communications, and so on. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo continues to be the most influential politician in Nigeria, and he is still the weightiest voice in Africa. He lives on a farm in Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria, and is estimated to be worth about 4 billion dollars.
3. Mohammed VI – $2.1 Billion
His Majesty the King (God Grant Him Victory) Mohammed VI of Morocco, is a ridiculously wealthy man. He inherited a vast financial empire spanning several sectors and fields, not just in Morocco, but in several economies. Some of his assets are: from his late father King Hassan, King Mohammed VI of Morocco inherited a 35% stake in the financial holding company Societe Nationale d’Investissement (SNI). Through this company, he has holdings in several publicly traded companies, including Morocco’s largest bank; Attijariwafa.
Mohammed VI also has stakes in a mining company called Managem Group, and also a sugar producer called Cosumar. The King also has stakes in a dairy firm called Centrale Danone. He is currently estimated to be worth $2.1 billion dollars, but in 2015 he was estimated to be worth as high as $5.5 billion dollars.
4. Bola Tinubu – $2 Billion
Bola Tinubu, the Jagaban of the Borgu Kingdom in Nigeria, is an excellent political tactician, and God Father of Lagos State, which is Nigeria’s commercial capital. He is currently believed to be the richest politician. He is the national leader of the ruling APC and a two-term Executive Governor of Lagos State. Since the expiration of his governorship tenure, he has hand-picked the governors who have succeeded him, and even remove those who have failed to live up to expectations.
Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also built a powerful commercial empire; he has interests in hospitality, tax collection, waste management, publishing, entertainment, finance, and so on. His empire is estimated to be worth at least USD2 billion.
5. Uhuru Kenyatta – $1.65 billion
Even though Kenya’s current president Uhuru Kenyatta is only estimated to be worth about USD500 million, let us never forget who he is; Uhuru Kenyatta is the fourth son of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta, and his mother, Mama Ngina sits at the head of Sh142 billion (USD1.65 billion).
Mama Ngina’s youngest son Uhuru has been instrumental in managing his family’s wealth, is a key decision-maker in the family empire that cuts across banking, hospitality, and the real estate sectors.
The family is truly the first family in Kenya, as they are immensely influential when it comes to politics, Mama Kenyatta is like a political matriarch, and people jostle to align themselves with her and her family, both in business and in politics.
6. Rochas Okorocha – 1.5 Billion Dollars
Rochas Okorocha is a Nigerian senator, former two-time governor of Imo state, and currently the third richest politician in Africa. According to information released by the FBI, he has 1.5 Billion Dollars stashed in the JP Morgan/Chase Bank of New York.
Rochas Okorocha is quite the controversial figure; he was accused by his successor Right Honorable Emeka Ihedioha, of converting government properties into his private ownership. A university (Eastern Palm University) was recovered from him; it was allegedly built with government funds but declared as a private establishment owned by him. There are also rumors of a secondary school, a hotel, and a hospital, all built with government funds but declared as a private venture belonging to Rochas Okorocha.
7. Rabiu Kwakwanso – USD 1.15 Billion
Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso is the third richest politician in Africa, the former Governor of Kano State from 1999 to 2003, and then again from 2011 to 2015. He then became a member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2015, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. He represents the Kano central senatorial district. According to the same FBI document cited above, he has the sum of USD 1.15 Billion Dollars stashed in the American Express Bank, New York.
8. Shettima – $1.1 Billion
Kashim Ibrahim Shettima is a current Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the former governor of Borno state. From 2007 to 2011, he served as Commissioner in 5 Ministries, before becoming governor. According to the same FBI document cited above, we understand that Kashim Ibrahim has stashed the sum of 1.1 Billion Dollars in a Wells Fargo bank in San Fransisco, California, USA. This cannot be his true worth, however, we know that he has properties in Nigeria, and abroad.
9. Cyril Ramaphosa – $700 million
Cyril Ramaphosa is the current president of South Africa is the sixth wealthiest politician in Africa. He held a high position at Lonmin mine during the Marikana Massacre but was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. He has investments in real estate and other sectors of the South African economy. He is reputed to be worth at least $700 million dollars, making him arguably the richest politician in South Africa.
10. Raila Odinga- $500 million
Raila Odinga is a former President of Kenya. He is estimated to be worth USD500 million, making him one of the wealthiest Kenyans. His political influence has granted him a first-row seat in the running of Kenya’s governments, and one can even say that he is one of the most enduring figures on the Kenyan political landscape.
This influence has of course brought him wealth; he is widely consulted by those seeking advancement in their political careers. Raila calls the shots like a boss, and even when they said he would not penetrate the present government, he released a picture with the president, showing that he is still the go-to man for lobbyists, and junior politicians.
Raila Odinga has interests in oil and gas, manufacturing, logistics, and real estate.
11. The Moi Family
The Moi family, descendants of former Kenyan president Arap Moi is estimated to be worth Ksh 300 billion (USD3 billion), although it is claimed in certain quarters that that is a moderate estimate. This family has several companies and substantial investments in every aspect of Kenya’s economy.
We do not list them higher in this list because the wealth is not controlled by one individual in their family, but is spread through a large household, who are very influential politically.
The Moi family’s wealth is not localized in Kenya but it is spread across the world especially in Europe.
12. Hakainde Hichelema – USD200 million- USD500 million
Hakainde Hichelema is the wealthiest man in Zambia and the ninth richest politician in Africa presently. He is also the leader of the United Party for National Development. He is worth anywhere between 200-500 million USD. He has investments in agriculture, Diamonds, and cargo handling. He is the owner of Zambeef, which is a company that supplies foodstuffs.
13. Charles Milupi USD200 million – USD400 million
Charles Milupi is a Zambian businessman turned politician. Among his business engagements, are a directorship in Zal Holdings Limited, where he holds the position of consultant engineer. He is also heavily invested in Copper Belt Energy Corporation.
As you have seen in the list of Africa’s wealthiest politicians, there is a great need for regulation of what kind of money politicians are allowed to make in Africa. This will help to ensure that they continue to be servants of the people; defending the interests of the people who put them in public office. Furthermore, this will ensure that only a reasonable percentage of what the country makes as yearly income is spent on the upkeep of the political class.
For example; the President of the Nigerian senate makes more money than the president of America. This is true even though the whole of Nigeria is far behind the state of New York in terms of the economy.