[BLOG] Africa is Rich
There is no doubt that poverty is one of the last words people would employ to describe Africa.
It is said that majority of Africa's families get their food from their own two acres backyard farms and walk kilometers to retrieve water. But this does not mean that every African lives that way. There is a new wave of positive narratives about how businesses are beginning to turn the African economies. There are some fabulously rich people in Africa too.
In fact, Nigerian Aliko Dangote is worth $13.8 billion dollars. He makes his money from products mostly consumed within Nigeria such as sugar, flour and cement.
Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Angolan President Jose Dos Santos, is the richest woman in Africa. Though she tops the list, Dos Santos is the only non-South African to appear on the Top Ten Richest Women in Africa list. Her wealth comes from investments in media and financial institutions.
This sort of affluence is not limited to entrepreneurs and politicians though. Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes make fortunes beating the rest of the world on the track and on the road. But Africa's highest paid athletes are her footballers. Inter Milan's Cameroonian striker, Samuel Eto'o Fils, tops the list with 15 million U.S dollars in salary and endorsements earned last year. Fils' net worth is estimated at more the $40 million.
Africa's wealth story is not all about individuals; the continent has some huge conglomerates. A glance at Africa's largest companies in terms of income shows that petroleum and telecommunication companies lead the list. Angola's petroleum company Sonatrach takes the top spot with nearly $50 billion in annual gross income.
The list of the top richest countries in Africa, as demonstrated by gross national product (GDP), contains some real surprises. Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, and Gabon top the list.
In fact, Equatorial Guinea has the 9th highest GDP in the world. This country struck it big in 1996 when large oil reserves were discovered. Equatorial Guinea has a population of only half a million, yet most live in poverty. Corruption is widespread and the gap between rich and poor is probably the widest in the world.
Some Africans might consider that having large sums of money should take away all of their problems. Yet Africa's wealth, as is the case with the wealthy of the world, has its own severe struggles.
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