• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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6,800 Nigerians lost dollar millionaire status in a decade

…records largest drop on top 10 Africa’s richest list

Nigeria experienced a decline in millionaire growth of 45 percent in one decade, resulting in 6,800 individuals losing their millionaire status, a new report showed on Tuesday.

The 2024 Africa Wealth Report compiled by Henley and Partners, a London investment migration consultancy, shows that the number of dollar millionaires living in the country fell to 8,200 last year from 15,000 in 2013.

Africa’s most populous nation also saw the largest decline in private wealth on the continent within the period.

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“Approximately 2,800 left Nigeria, so the remaining 4,000 would have dropped out of high-net-worth individuals’ status due to several possible reasons including depreciating currency, business closures, etc.,” Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, said in a mail to BusinessDay.

The other countries that recorded declines are South Africa (20 percent), Egypt (22 percent) and Algeria (28 percent). While others such as Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Ghana had an increase of 87 percent, 35 percent, 32 percent, 30 percent, 30 percent and 26 percent respectively.

“Currency depreciation and underperforming stock markets have chipped away at Africa’s wealth compared to global benchmarks,” Dominic Volek, group head of private clients at Henley & Partners said in a statement.

He said the South African rand fell 43 percent against the US dollar from 2013–2023, and even though the JSE All Share Index, which makes up well over half of Africa’s listed company holdings, rose in local currency terms, “it was down five percent in US dollar terms over that period.”

He added that currencies in most other African countries also performed poorly compared to the dollar over the past 10 years, with dramatic depreciations of over 75 percent recorded in Nigeria, Egypt, Angola, and Zambia.

The Henley and Partners report in its ninth edition provides a comprehensive review of private wealth in Africa, including high-net-worth-individual, luxury, and wealth management trends, as well as expert insights on investment, the investment migration sector, and economic mobility on the continent.

The wealth categories are split into millionaires — individuals with a net worth above one million dollars; centimillionaires — individuals with a net worth above $100 million, and billionaires — individuals with a net worth above one billion dollars.

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“There are currently 135,200 high-net-worth individuals with liquid investable wealth of $1 million or more living in Africa, along with 342 centi-millionaires worth $100 million or more-, and 21-dollar billionaires,” authors of the report said.

They added that Africa’s ‘Big 5’ wealth markets — South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco — together account for 56 percent of the continent’s millionaires and over 90 percent of its billionaires.

According to Amoils of New World Wealth, African nations are also losing large numbers of high-net-worth individuals to migration which is eroding the continent’s wealth.

“According to our latest figures, approximately 18,700 high-net-worth individuals have left Africa over the past decade. There are currently 54 African-born billionaires in the world, including one of the world’s richest, Elon Musk, but only 21 of them still live on the continent. Most of these individuals have relocated to the United Kingdom, the US, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

Amoils added that significant numbers have also moved to France, Switzerland, Monaco, Portugal, Canada, New Zealand, and Israel.

The report also highlighted that despite a tough past decade which saw a 20 percent decline in its millionaire population, South Africa remains home to over twice as many high-net-worth individuals as any other African country, with 37,400 millionaires, 102 centi-millionaires, and five billionaires, followed by Egypt with 15,600 millionaires, 52 centi-millionaires, and seven billionaires.

Nigeria sits in 3rd place with 8,200 millionaires, 23 centi-millionaires and three billionaires.

Kenya has 7,200 millionaires, Morocco (6,800), Mauritius (5,100), Algeria (2,800), Ethiopia (2,700), Ghana (2,700), and Namibia (2,300) all making it into the top 10 wealthiest countries in Africa.

The report projects that over the next decade, the likes of Mauritius, Namibia, Morocco, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda are all expected to experience 80 percent+ millionaire growth.

It said Mauritius, with its stable governance and favorable tax regime, is projected to experience a remarkable 95 percent growth rate, positioning it as one of the world’s fastest-growing wealth markets.

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“Namibia, too, is poised for impressive high-net-worth growth, which is forecast to exceed 85 percent by 2033. Both Mauritius and Namibia offer investment migration pathways to attract global investors.”

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