Economy

Kenya fourth in Africa’s dollar millionaires rank

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Summary

  • The population of Kenya’s dollar millionaires in the study is significantly higher than estimates in other reports, indicating the difficulty of tracking the wealthy in Africa.
  • The latest Knight Frank Wealth Report put the number of Kenya dollar millionaires at 3,323.
  • South Africa has the highest number of dollar millionaires at 39,300 followed by Egypt (16,900) and Nigeria (10,000), according to the first wealth report by Henley.

Kenya has been ranked fourth in terms of the number of dollar millionaires, according to a report by research firm New World Wealth and Henley & Partners which helps high-net-worth individuals to acquire residence or citizenship through investment.

The Africa Wealth Report 2022 indicates that Kenya has 8,500 individuals with a net worth of over $1 million (Sh115.7 million).

The population of Kenya’s dollar millionaires in the study is significantly higher than estimates in other reports, indicating the difficulty of tracking the wealthy in Africa.

The latest Knight Frank Wealth Report put the number of Kenya dollar millionaires at 3,323.

The Africa Wealth Report 2022 drew from intelligence gathered by New World Wealth as well as Henley & Partners’ database of high-net-worth individuals, comprising mainly of people with the title of director, CEO, founder and partner.

South Africa has the highest number of dollar millionaires at 39,300 followed by Egypt (16,900) and Nigeria (10,000), according to the first wealth report by Henley.

Kenya is fourth again in terms of those with a net worth of $10 million (Sh1.1 billion) or more. The country has 340 such individuals, behind Nigeria (510), Egypt (880) and South Africa (2,080).

Kenya is ranked fifth in terms of the population of individuals with a net worth of at least $100 million (Sh11.5 billion), also known as centi-millionaires.

The country had 15 such individuals, trailing Morocco (22), Nigeria (28), Egypt (57) and South Africa (94).

The report could not identify a Kenya-based dollar billionaire. The few billion-dollar fortunes in the country are spread out among several family members, making it difficult to single out stand-alone ultra-rich individuals.

Egypt leads with seven dollar billionaires, followed by South Africa (five), Nigeria (four) and Morocco (three).

In terms of wealth held by private citizens, Kenya has $91 billion (Sh10.5 trillion) and is ranked fifth. South African citizens have the greatest combined wealth at $651 billion, followed by Egypt ($307 billion) and Nigeria ($228 billion).

“Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in a country, including all their assets (property, cash, equities and business interests) less any liabilities. We exclude government funds from our figures,” the report says.

Kenya is eighth as measured by the wealth of the average citizen. Wealth per capita in the country stands at $1,700 (Sh197,000), underlining the gap between ordinary citizens and the super-rich.

Mauritius is the richest in Africa with a wealth per capita of $34,500, followed by South Africa ($10,970), Namibia ($9,320), Botswana ($7,880), Morocco ($3,380), Egypt ($3,000) and Ghana ($1,890).

Economic vibrancy and population size are the key determinants of average wealth.

A highly populated country with a weak economy will have a low wealth per capita while a small rich nation has a high average wealth.

This, for instance, saw Kenya beat Nigeria whose wealth per capita stood at $1,100 (Sh127,500).

Despite being the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria was also bested by South Africa in the population of dollar millionaires and billionaires.

Kenya’s capital Nairobi was ranked the sixth richest in Africa with a total private wealth of $48 billion (Sh5.5 trillion).

Wealth in the country has traditionally been concentrated in Nairobi, which has hosted government operations and most industries and financial institutions since independence.

The introduction of devolution in 2013 is expected to reduce the wealth concentration in the capital. Mombasa is second in the country and at number 23 in Africa with $7 billion (Sh811 billion) of private wealth.

Africa’s two wealthiest cities are in South Africa. Johannesburg is the wealthiest, with total private wealth of $239 billion, followed by Cape Town with total private wealth of $131 billion.

The report says the population of the wealthy in Kenya and other African countries is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, fuelling the hunt for cross-border investments, residency, and citizenship.

“New World Wealth has predicted a healthy wealth growth of 38 percent for Africa in the next decade, and several Eastern African countries stand out — with over 60 percent growth expected in Uganda and Rwanda by 2031, and over 50 percent in Kenya and Zambia,” the report says.

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