02-19-2017  8:04 pm      •     

As a whole, Black Americans are the world's richest Blacks. The per capita income of Black Americans is higher than that of any other Black population. But, Black Africans are moving ahead of Black Americans in building wealth. America has two Black billionaires, but the world's richest Black is Ethiopian-born Saudi citizen, Mohammed Al Amoudi, who has a net worth of $9 billion. Nigeria's Aliko Dangote is second a $3.3 billion worth, America's Oprah Winfrey is third with financial assets valued at $2.5 billion. London-based Sudanese national Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim is worth $2.5 billion and South African Patrice Motsepe is worth $2.4 billion. BET founder Robert Johnson's divorce dropped him to just a $1 billion fortune.

Wealth is: an abundance of valuable resources or material possessions or the control of such assets. A wealthy individual possesses an abundance of such possessions or resources. The individual that posses the most abundance in the world is Warren Buffett who has $62 billion. Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu is number two with $60 billion. Worth $58 billion, Microsoft's Bill Gates is now the world's third-richest person.
Of 1,011 billionaires in the world, seven are Black. Forbes' latest list includes Michael Lee-Chin of Canada, a 59-year old of Chinese and Jamaican ancestry (with two black grandmothers and two Chinese grandfathers, both his parents are half Black and half Chinese). Michael Lee-Chin is founder and Chairman of Portland Holdings, Inc. a privately held investment company which has ownership in media, tourism, health care telecommunications and financial services. Lee-Chin's worth is over a billion dollars. Canadian Business named him as one of the country's richest people. Saudi-Arabian Mohammed Al Amoudi is listed as Black because his mother is from Ethiopia and his father is from Yemen. The 64-year-old magnate made his $2 billion fortune in construction and real estate. Al Amoudi's Svenska Petroleum conducts oil exploration from the Nordic shelf to the Ivory Coast. Al Amoudi is the largest private investor in Ethiopia with assets such as a hotel, gold mines and a food processing plant.
At 53, Aliko Dangote has built his Nigerian company, The Dangote Group into a conglomerate with interests in sugar, flour milling, cement and salt processing. Dangote "blew up" when his sugar production company was listed on the Nigerian stock exchange. The Dangote Group is Nigeria's largest industrial group. America's "sweetheart" Oprah Winfrey launched her show in 1986. It is now aired in 144 countries and draws 44 million U.S. viewers a week. Oprah owns Harpo Studios and property in Hawaii, Illinois and Santa Barbara. Harpo Productions helped create Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray. Oprah, now 56, produces Broadway shows and has her own satellite radio channel. She consistently earns more than $200 million a year and gives via Oprah's Angel Network and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
Sudanese-born Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim is a 64-year-old communications entrepreneur. The Celtel mobile phone company Ibrahim started serves seven million customers. Ibrahim sold Celtel in 2005 for $3.4 billion. He spends his time on philanthropy and investing in Africa. He created Mo Ibrahim Foundation to award a $5 million annual prize to former African heads of state that have shown exemplary leadership in promoting political freedom. Johannesburg mining magnate Patrice Motsepe was born in Soweto and trained as a lawyer. At 48, Motsepe has amassed a $2.4 billion fortune through his company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). He is executive chairman of ARM and holds a 42 percent stake in the company. Patrice Motsepe represents a growing corps of Black South African millionaires who are benefiting from Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws, which mandate that companies be at least 26% Black-owned to get government operating licenses.
Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television became America's first Black billionaire in 2001 by selling BET to Viacom for $3 billion. Sheila Johnson took a big chunk in a divorce settlement. Now, 64, Johnson is rebuilding with acquisitions, renovations, and re-branding of hotel properties. The RLJ companies own interest in 100 hotels.

William Reed is publisher of Who's Who in Black Corporate America and available for speaking engagements via BaileyGroup.org)

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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