The richest tribes in Africa are those that have best mastered the art of generating and multiplying wealth. Perhaps it is important to study this list because of the poverty that has become endemic in Africa, and that has made life unbearable for large numbers of people on the continent.
Studying Africa’s richest tribes could be the key to understanding what adjustments need to be made in order to make the whole continent prosperous because by observing their ways of life, and the way they do business; the whole of Africa can do like they do, and thus become better off.
Perhaps this is evidence that the continent is making some economic progress after all, and will hopefully be financially free.
Top 10 Richest Tribes in Africa
1. The Yoruba
The Yoruba tribe is the most prominent in Nigeria; although they are also found in Southern Benin Republic. Their homeland is basically south Western Nigeria, and they have a great political influence in the country. The Yoruba have the most developed cities in Nigeria; Lagos, Ogun, and Ibadan are part of their homeland.
They control much of the external trade in Nigeria; Lagos is the most important port city in West Africa. The Yoruba have some of the richest people in Nigeria; people like Folorunso Alakija, Bola Tinubu, Mike Adenuga, and Femi Otedola are all from the Yoruba tribe.
A large number of people from Yoruba-land are educated and work in prominent positions in the Nigerian government. Many others are academics, and they know very well how to manage resources.
Yoruba people can be polygamists, and many are Muslims. They are very good at storing wealth, and passing it on to their children, and their grandchildren.
2. The Zulu
The Zulu tribe is one of the prominent tribes in South Africa; and with South Africa being one of the richest countries in Africa, it is clear that the Zulu is one of the richest tribes in Africa. They take pride in their history; the Zulu was one of those who fought bravely against the British Invaders when they landed in what is now South Africa.
The Zulu are engaged in business; they are in all kinds of ventures from agriculture, to car dealerships, construction, retail, and so on. The Zulu are also into politics because they took a leading role in the fight against apartheid. So now, they have strategic positions in the government of South Africa.
The Pedi tribe is also a South African tribe; although they may be better known as the Transvaal Sotho, Northern Sotho, or Bapedi people. This tribe also owes its wealth to the sheer buoyancy of the South African economy. Interestingly, many of the Pedi people are pastoralists; they work in agriculture.
Their wealth, therefore, comes from the land they own, and from the food they produce. South Africa is very well organized as a country; the food and milk are sold to processing houses, who in turn sell to the populace, even exporting to foreign markets.
Pedi people are estimated to number between 7 to 11 million, and they are examples that show that it is possible to make wealth without destroying the environment.
4. Hausa and Fulani
Hausa and Fulani are the people in the north of Nigeria, and they are also found in Niger Republic, Chad, and other countries to the North of Nigeria.
These tribes are the most successful in politics because Nigerian politics has always been in the hands of the military. The Hausa and Fulani are mostly in control of the army, and other military organizations in Nigeria.
They also have a large population which gives them power in politics because they vote in unison for the candidates of their choice.
Furthermore, the Hausa and Fulani also have some of the richest persons in Africa, such as Aliko Dangote and Abdulsamad Rabiu.
The Suri is a name that collectively encompasses both the Suri Chai, the Suri Timaga, and other nationalities of people living in the vast lands called Suri woreda, in southwestern Ethiopia. The Suri can be called highland tribes; their land is most highly.
The Suri people can be identified by their language and by their culture of piercing their lips and putting in wide metal plates.
They believe that those cultural practices make them attractive.
The Suri people are pastoralists by nature, with the modern practices of harvesting the agricultural produce together, and selling the produce in bulk; the Suri now have the opportunity to make more money for their work.
The Igbo are a tribe in Nigeria. They also have substantial numbers in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The Igbos are mostly into business; they have a cultural practice called “Igba Boy” which involves taking young boys to traders and business people as apprentices.
With this apprenticeship system; the boys get to live with their bosses, and then observe closely the way of life of their bosses, not only in business but in every other aspect of life.
So many successful Igbo businessmen have passed through this system, and it continues to be a part of the Igbo culture. The Igbo people are mostly into business and entrepreneurship; they care very little about politics, the military, and government.
7. The Ashanti Tribe
The Ashanti Tribe is part of a large Akan Nation of Ghana. From ancient times these have been wealthy people due to the abundance of gold in their region. The Ashanti Tribe once ruled over a vast land; the Ashanti Empire was at a time one of the biggest in West Africa.
Today, the Ashanti people are involved in politics, business, sports and so many other areas of life. They have contributed greatly to the economy of Ghana as it is today, and they owe their wealth to the robustness of the Ghanaian economy.
Kumasi which is part of their homeland is now one of the financial capitals of Ghana and West Africa, and that has helped make them very wealthy.
8. El Molo
The El Molo are called several names including Elmolo, Dehes, Fura-Pawa, and Ldes. People of the Elmolo tribe mostly live in the northern Eastern Province of Kenya.
They historically spoke the El Molo language as a mother tongue, however, it has been observed that very few speakers of the language exist today; and they are mostly elderly people.
They practice hunting and fishing; many of them are in the hospitality industry, and they also work as tour guides. Much of their land is protected by law; which means that while they live simply, they are very rich when you put the value of their land into account.
The Xhosa people are mostly located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa; although they can be found in smaller numbers throughout the country. In modern South Africa, a Xhosa person can only be identified by his language, or by telling you that he is Xhosa.
They have a very interesting language; some of their vocabularies actually involve clicking sounds.
Xhosa people are into agriculture, business, and academics. They cherish their culture, and in the hinterland, the people have built their economy without destroying the land.
10. Oromo Tribe
The Oromo tribe is the most popular in Ethiopia and they make up 40% of the country’s population. Ethiopia is an ancient kingdom; one that has been the pride of Africa for generations.
Since the Oromo People make up 40% of Ethiopia; a country that is clearly growing economically, it should be no surprise that the Oromo tribe is also quite advanced economically.
The Oromo Tribe is mainly into business, agriculture, and real estate. Of course, they participate in politics, and in running the government as well.
More On Wealthy African Tribes
Africa is not only a continent but an enormous world that houses a multitude of people who have originated in diverse tongues, cultures, and languages. It is pretty fascinating to explore the prestige of various African cultures and how they greatly influence those who preserve them.
Prior to the era during which the Whites encroached on Africa and came with their own culture, Africa existed with multifarious tribes. However, little is what quite a few researchers have gathered about the actual number of tribes in Africa.
As attributable to the influence of the Western culture on African traditions, lots of African tribes have become extinct and nowadays, we hardly find those who claim they belong to those tribes or who actually speak the languages which distinguish them from the influential tribes.
For instance, some Nigerians believe Nigeria is blessed with over 500 tribes. However, some other Nigerians still hold the conception that just a few Nigerian tribes are in existence with the Hausa, the Yoruba, and the Igbo featuring the three most influential tribes within the limited category.
But again, the fast-rising world population has been used as a theoretical point to suggest that there might be a tendency that new tribes are still emerging from existing tribes. Likewise, a number of other theories have implied that tribes already specified as extinct might remain in existence but with a very few numbers of those who preserve them.
Nevertheless, the only point that remains factual identifies Africa as a massive atmosphere that houses numerous tribes. Meanwhile, several tribes could be identified as belonging to a single country. In point of fact, this alone exemplifies that Africa has long remained the home of many tribes which have spread to other continents such as America, Europe, Asia, etc.
Please note that the purpose of putting together this article on the richest tribes in Africa is not to arouse tribal sentiments, or to cause envy or strife. Every tribe is equally important, and the continent needs the mutually beneficial participation of each member of every tribe as the continent gradually comes out of a period of lack and inequality.