Africa’s list of millionaires is increasing by the day. And majority of people that make up that list are African Generation X and millenials, who are typically under 40. Despite the huge unemployment figures in Africa, there’s still a crop of youth who have taken advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities and managed to carve a niche for themselves as the continent’s fast growing multi-millionaires. A sizable number of these millionaires have interest in technology, communications, manufacturing and financial services.
Here is a list of 7 African millionaires under 40that have worked so hard to gain their status:
Ashish Thakkar, 36, Ugandan
Ashish Thakkar is the CEO and co-founder of Mara Group, which has interest in banking, IT, real estate, manufacturing and agriculture. The company currently boasts of more than 8,000 employees and enjoys presence in 21 countries, 19 of which are African countries. Mara Group’s annual turnover is more than $100 million and the company is valued at a figure slightly above $1 billion. Thakkar set up his first business of importing and selling computer parts, when he was just 15 years old, after dropping out of school. He says he was motivated to start the business because his parents lost their wealth in 1993 Rwandan genocide, which led them to flee to Burundi and later Uganda. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, Thakkar’s net worth was around $425 as of January 2017.
Vinny Lingham, 34, South African
Lingham is no doubt one of the leading tech exports in South Africa and the African continent at large. His companies, incuBeta and Click2Customers, which he founded in 2003 offer online marketing services and search engine marketing respectively. The two companies have offices in a number of cities including Cape Town, Los Angeles and London. Click2Customer’s annual revenue is estimated to be about $100 million. He also owns a number of multi-million dollar companies including Yola Inc, Lingham Capital and Gyf, which have elevated his millionaire status even more.
Abasiama Idaresit, 39, Nigerian
Abasiama Idaresit is a technology entrepreneur who’s also the CEO and founder of Wild Fusion, a digital marketing agency with offices in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. The company’s currently works with a number of blue-chip companies including Unilever, Diamond Bank, Pepsi and Vodafone. Idarest pursued his Information Systems and Management course at the prestigious London School of Economics, where he graduated in 2008 and returned to Nigeria immediately to start the business. 8 months after forming the company, he couldn’t still make any reasonable returns. It was not until he offered a $250-money-back-guaranteetrial service to Baby M (a caterer of new mothers and their babies) that he realized that his marketing model was super great. With the mere $40,000 (about $250 then) the otherwise reluctant Baby M gave him, he was able to grow the business’ revenue from $1,000 per month to a staggering $100,000 a month.
So amazing was the result that Google adopted itas one of the top 10 global case studies on internet marketing. Wild Fusion became the first certified Google Adwords partner in 2011 and was further named Nigeria’s best digital agency in the same year. In 2012, the company recorded an annual turnover of $6 million.
Patrick Ngowi, 33, Tanzanian
Patrick Ngowi is the founder and chairman of the massive Helvetic Group of Companies that have interest in renewable energy across East Africa. At the tender age of 22, he founded Hevetic Solar, a subsidiary renewable energy company. This renewable energy company provided solutions to a range of clients including the Tanzanian government and the United Nations, generating about $8 million in revenue. In 2013, Helvetic ranked number one among the Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies that are fast-growing. Ngowi is also a board member and advisor in a number of companies in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
Jason Njoku, 37, Nigerian
Jason Njoku is the CEO and co-founder of iROKO Partners, one of the largest distributors of African entertainment across the world. In 2010, Njoku founded iROKO with his friend Bastian Gotter at an investment cost of $150,000. The Group received $8 million in 2011 from Tiger Global as venture capital, which helped it to launch its stand-alone video-on-demand platform iROKOtv.
The streaming service drew viewers from 178 countries, generating annual revenue of $1.3 million in the same year. iROKOtv has enjoyed lucrative dealswith Amazon, Vimeo, Dailymotion and iTunes. As of 2012, Njoku’s net worth was approximately
Ladi Delano, 36, Nigerian
Ladi Delano is a notable millionaire best known for founding Bakrie Delano Africa. He started out a liquor entrepreneur in China when he was 22 years old. He founded Solidarnosc Asia-a Chinese alcoholic drinks company that brewed and bottled a premium vodka brand called Solid X. In 2004, the same year the company was
formed, Solid X achieved a staggering 50 percent of the market, with the liquor selling across 30 cities in China. The sales raked in annual revenue of $20 million that year but Delano sold the company to a competing liquor company at a cost of $15,000 million. He took the funds and ploughed them into a new venture, a real estate company in China, The Delano Reid. He later co-founded Bakrie Delano Africa, a company that received over $900 million worth of investment funds from the Indonesian conglomerate , Bakrie Group. Bakrie has interest in mining, oil, gas and agriculture.
Justin Stanford, 33, South African
Stanford is a renowned South African software entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. He tried to launch an internet security company after dropping out of school but it didn’t push through. However, he managed to link up with ESET, the popular Slovakian anti-virus software, where he managed to negotiate with the manufacturers and secured a lucrative deal to distribute the product in South Africa. Stanford set up his ESET Southern Africa brand in 20 sub-Saharan countriesand became quite successful bringing in at least $10 million in annual turnover. He (Stanford) also co-founded 4Di Capital, a venture capital based in Cape Town. His business activitieshave allowed him to accumulate a lot of wealth, running into millions of dollars.