Every year, Forbes magazine releases its list of the world’s richest people, and here are the top six black billionaires for the year 2010. Last year, there were seven black billionaires. Nigerian Femi Otedola fell off the list temporarily, but he is expected to make a comeback. There are a total of 1011 billionaires in the world listed by Forbes in 2010, which is still shy of the 1125 listed in 2008, but up from the 793 figure for 2009.
- Mohammed Al Amoudi is presently the richest black person in the world with an estimated net worth of $10 billion. Born of an Ethiopian mother and an Arab father, Al Amoudi made his money in construction and real estate. He owns Svenska Petroleum which is an oil exploration business that goes from the Nordic Shelf to the Ivory Coast. He also found a gold mine in the Oromo region of Ethiopia that is expected to double its yield of six tons of gold annually in 2010. He owns properties in London and the U.S. and donated more than $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
- Oprah Winfrey is the world’s only black billionairess with a net worth estimated to be $2.4 billion down from $2.7 billion. She is also considered to be one of the world’s twenty most powerful billionaires which includes not only money but power over consumer choices. She owns Harpo Studios, Harpo Films, and has raised over $70 million for international humanitarian causes. She has been dubbed the “Queen of Daytime Television” and is considered the most philanthropic African American of all time. She gives to needy women, children and families through Oprah’s Angel Network and The Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
- Aliko Dangote is Nigeria’s first billionaire, the second richest black billionaire and the richest African citizen with an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion. Dangote became a trader at the age of 21 with a loan from his uncle. He built the Dangote Group which has interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, textiles, real estate, freight, oil and gas. He became President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange last August.
- Patrice Motsepe is South Africa’s first billionaire with an estimated net worth of $2.3 billlion. He was born on Soweto and became a lawyer for a large law firm. He also began a contracting business doing mine scutt work. He has since built a $875 million (sales) mining operation called African Rainbow Minerals such as platinum, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese and coal. He is often dubbed the “Prince of Mines.” He also has an interest in Sanlam, which is a publicly traded financial service company. He benefited from South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws which state that companies cannot get a mining license unless they are 26% black owned.
- Michael Lee-Chin made the black billionaire’s list from his stakes in several companies with an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion. His parents were both biracial Black and Chinese Jamaicans. He is part owner of the National Commercial Bank in Jamaica, Total Finance in Trinidad and Tobago, and Columbus Communications in Barbados. He also owns 250 acres of beachfront property in Jamaica and homes in Florida and Canada. Daniel Libeskind designed a building at the Royal Ontario Museum called the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal that hosted the exhibit called “The Age of Dinosaurs.”
- Mo Ilbrahim is a British billionaire of Sudanese Nubian ancestry whose net worth is over $2.5 million. He is an expert in mobile communications and has a distinguished business and academic career. He founded Celtel International which he sold for $3.4 billion in 2005, and pocketed $1.4 billion from the sale. He invests in Africa and created the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which awards money to former African heads of state who are leaders in promoting political freedom.