We all know Oprah, Michael Jordan, and Robert F. Smith have billions, but what about people of African descent in other countries? Turns out, Oprah and Smith are relatively poor compared to the wealthiest black people in the world. Of the 2,043 billionaires in the world, less than 1% are black. There are 10 black billionaires in the world today. Three of the 10 are women and two of those women are entirely self-made. Let's take a look at the top 10 black billionaires in the world right now.
#10. Michael Lee-Chin: $1 billion
Michael Lee-Chin is a Jamaican-Canadian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Michael is the founder and Chairman of Portland Holdings Inc. He is also the Executive Chairman of AIC Limited and the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica. Chin was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica in 1951. Lee-Chin graduated from McMaster University in 1974. He has owned or operated Columbus Communications which includes Sauce Cable Company, Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline Company, Radio Jamaica, Reggae Beach resort, Senvia, and Trident Hotel resort. Portland Holdings Inc. includes companies in media, healthcare, tourism, and financial services.
#9. Mohammed Ibrahim: $1.1 billion
Mohammed Ibrahim is a self-made billionaire from the Sudan. He currently lives in the U.K. and is one of the wealthiest people there. Ibrahim became a billionaire in 2005 when he sold Celtel International, his telecommunications company. These days he is focused on improving the lives of the people of Africa through his charitable foundation the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
#8. Michael Jordan: $1.7 billion
Michael Jordan is not only one of the most successful athletes of all time, he's also one of the most well-known people in the world. Jordan made $90 million playing in the NBA. Since retiring he's made another fortune through endorsement deals and other partnerships. He has a long-standing deal with Nike, for instance. Jordan is also one of the owners of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. These days he makes more in one year through his various ventures than he did during his entire professional basketball career.
# 7. Folorunsho Alakija: $2.5 billion
Folorunsho Alakija is Nigeria's first female billionaire. She began her professional career as an Executive Secretary in Lagos, Nigeria, while simultaneously launching her own tailoring business. Her company flourished, and she went on to become the National President and a Trustee for the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria. In the early 90s, she applied for a license to begin prospecting for oil. It turns out, the plot of land she was granted was sitting on over one billion barrels of potential oil. She owns 60% of the drilling venture off the coast of Nigeria. After the billion barrels were discovered, the Nigerian government attempted to take the land grant back. A 12 year legal battle ensued that reached all the way to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Folorunsho was victorious and her patience was rewarded handsomely. As soon as the legal verdict came down, Folorunsho was instantly worth billions of dollars.
#6. Patrice Motsepe: $2.7 billion
Patrice Motsepe is a South African mining magnate who owns African Rainbow Minerals. He was actually Africa's first billionaire. He is also the first African to sign Bill Gates' Giving Pledge. In 1999, Motsepe and his wife founded the Motsepe Foundation to help create new jobs, support education, and improve the lives of children, the unemployed, and the disabled.
#5. Oprah Winfrey: $3.2 billion
Oprah Winfrey is the only African-American woman to make the billionaire list. She famously overcame a poverty-stricken childhood to become the Queen of all Media. The Oprah Winfrey show ran for 25 seasons. More than just wealthy, Oprah is also beloved by millions of fans.
#4. Isabel Dos Santos: $4 billion
Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the President of Angola who has reigned over a violent regime since 1979. Today Isabel sits atop many of Angola's top industries – banking, diamonds, cement, and telecom. Isabel's representatives adamantly deny that her father had anything to do with her success. Isabel's defenders refer to her has a "brilliant investor" who started completely from scratch with no help at all. On the other hand, these claims proved difficult to defend after it was revealed that Jose personally transferred extremely valuable public assets directly to his daughter.
#3. Robert Smith: $4.5 billion
Robert F. Smith is the founder of the private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners. Vista deals in the not-so-sexy category of enterprise software, which might be why he's flown largely under the radar. In 2000, Smith launched Vista Equity Partners and in the 16 years since then, Vista has grown to nearly $16 billion in assets and generated insane returns for its investors. Vista has delivered a whopping 31 percent average annual rate of return to its investors since 2000. Smith joined the Giving Pledge last year.
#2. Mike Adenuga: $4.6 billion
Mike Adenuga built his enormous fortune in mobile telecommunications and oil production. In 2006, he founded Globacom, the second largest mobile phone network in Nigeria. With over 24 million customers in Nigeria, the company also operates in the Republic of Benin, where it recently acquired licenses to start businesses in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. What's more, his Conoil Producing is considered to be one of the largest independent exploration companies in Nigeria, with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
#1. Aliko Dangote: $15.7 billion
Aliko Dangote owns the eponymous Dangote Group, which operates in the commodities field. Dangote is based in Nigeria and also does business in other African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, and Zambia. He is the richest person in Africa. The Dangote Group employs more than 11,000 people in industries such as sugar refining, flourmills, food distribution, and cement. In fact, The Dangote Group's businesses account for one fourth of all businesses on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.