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)