The news of Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan listed as the 6th Richest African president by a US-based website has been so viral in Africa’s online media it has overshadowed others in the list, even those atop him.
While the makers of the list did not reveal how they calculated the wealth of the African heads of state, that of Jonathan was pinned at $100 million. But this is only a fraction of the given sum of the President atop the list, but that president is not making the headlines as the man who runs Africa’s largest economy.
Perhaps this is because Jonathan is the President of Africa’s most populated country, and arguably the continent’s most online-active citizenry, most of which are dissatisfied with the political elite whom they perceive as “very corrupt.” Then throw in the fact that President Jonathan is famed for priding in his humble upbringing when “he had no shoes”. How he amassed such wealth, if Richest Lifestyle’s figures are to be believed, becomes the huge question given that his only known career before venturing into politics was that of an academician.
These indices however should ideally not still steal the headlines away from President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola who according to the list is worth $20 billion, which is over 83 percent of the total sum of Africa’s ten richest heads of state. With Angola’s GDP at $129.785 billion, Dos Santos alone equals 15 percent of that in a country where 37 percent are classified as poor by the moderate estimate of Angolan Instituto Nacional de Estatística.
The President’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos is among Africa’s billionaires with a net worth of $3.8 billion. She’s currently in the top three bracket of Africa’s richest women.Aside the Angolan President, another news bigger than President Jonathan’s worth is the fact that apart from the Nigerian President and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, none of the African leaders on that list of ten have stayed in office for less than 10 years. Jonathan, 5 years in office, and Kenyatta 1 year in office, make for a combined term of 6 years which is lower than the next lowest number of years held by Mohammed VI of Morocco who ascended to the throne 15 years ago.
The man who shares the same figure with Jonathan should also be making more headline than him. King Mswati III of Swaziland does not just have $100 million, according to the list, he also has 13 wives several of whom together spent over $6 million in a single shopping spree in 2009. It also says that Swaziland’s Parliament in its 2014 budget, allocated $61 million for the King’s annual household budget, in a country where 63 percent of Swazis live on less than $1.25 per day.
But the biggest news from the release is that the wealth of the listed African Richest Presidents even when summed is still less than that of Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote. The chairman of Africa’s largest indigenous conglomerate Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote is worth $25 billion. While that may be just 3.76 percent higher than the wealth of African heads of state, the significance of it makes the gap a lot wider. The significance – In Africa where most of the political leaders are accused of embezzling their country’s wealth, Dangote’s wealth has shown that businessmen will always sit atop the rich list. Clean and Legit business always pays better.