Despite the continent’s strong economic growth over the past decade, the majority of Africans still struggle to make ends meet. That is not to say however, that Africa lacks wealthy people. UK-based New World Wealth recently released a report that ranks African countries according to their number of millionaires.

Unsurprisingly, the continent’s largest economy, South Africa, dominates the list with a total of 48,800 millionaires.

North Africa also features strongly in the rankings, with Egypt, Libya, Tunisia,Morocco and Algeria all in the top 10.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, takes third place with 15,900 millionaires.

Interestingly, Angola ranks fifth with 6,400 millionaires. Although the country is a major oil producer, it has a relatively small population of about 20 million.

New World Wealth defines a millionaire as someone with net assets of US$1m or more, excluding their primary residences.

Top 10 African countries ranked by millionaires (2012)

Rank Country Number of millionaires
1. South Africa 48,800
2. Egypt 23,000
3. Nigeria 15,900
4. Kenya 8,400
5. Angola 6,400
6. Tanzania 5,700
7. Libya 6,400
8. Tunisia 6,500
9. Morocco 4,900
10. Algeria 4,100

Companies looking to target the continent’s high net worth individuals should however, keep a close eye on Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Zambia; the number of millionaires in these countries are expected to grow the fastest from 2012 to 2020.

Fastest growing African countries for millionaires (2012 – 2020)

Rank Country Growth rate per annum Millionaires in 2012 Millionaires in 2020
1. Ethiopia 7.4% 2,700 4,700
2. Ivory Coast 7.4% 2,100 3,700
3. Zambia 7.3% 900 1,600
4. Ghana 7% 2,500 4,200
5. Angola 6.7% 6,400 10,800
6. Nigeria 6.4% 15,900 26,100
7. Tanzania 6.3% 5,700 9,300
8. Kenya 5.5% 8,400 12,900
9. Morocco 4.7% 4,900 7,100
10. Algeria 4.1% 4,100 5,600
Only includes countries with over 800 millionaires in 2012.

Consultancies such as McKinsey & Company advise companies to make their investment decisions on a city level as opposed to on a country level.

According to New World Wealth, the African city with the greatest number of millionaires is South Africa’s economic hub Johannesburg with 23,400 millionaires, followed by the Egyptian capital Cairo with 12,300 and Lagos in Nigeria with 9,800. Ghana’s capital Accra will see the fastest growth in millionaires over the coming years, rising from 800 in 2012 to 1,500 in 2020.

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