By Peter OBIORA A InvestAdvocate
Lagos (INVESTADVOCATE)- Aliko Dangote, founder and chairman of the Dangote Group has emerged the 105 richest man in the world; dropping from the 51st position; though he is still the richest person in Africa with a fortune of $12.2 billion down from $15.4 billion in 2016, , according to Forbes latest ranking in 2017.
Dangote has diverse investment in sugar, cement, flour and beverage among others, he founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer and owns about 90 percent of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company.
Dangote Cement produces over 44 million metric tons annually and plans to increase its output 33 percent by 2020, he also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
He shared the 105 position with three (3) other billionaires which include, Petr Kellner of Czech Republic, Jim Kennedy and Blair Parry-Okeden; both of the United States (US), all with net worth of $12.2 billion respectively.
The second African behind Dangote is Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa with a net worth of $7.0 billion, he came in 199 alongside Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian media mogul.
Nigeria’s Mike Adenuga, the telecoms and oil & Gas magnate came in 250 in position with a net worth of $5.8 billion alongside a host of others.
Bill Gates emerged the number one world’s richest for the fourth year in a row, and the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years with a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year.
Warren Buffet had the second-best year, and the biggest gain since Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016. His $14.8 billion jump in 12 months was enough for him to grab back the number two spot from Amancio Ortega, founder of Spanish clothing chain Zara. Buffet this time recorded $75.6 billion.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon added $27.6 billion to his net worth and has now hit $72.8 billion to move into the top three in the world for the first time, up from number five a year ago.
While Ortega’s fortune was up $4.3 billion since last year, but he still fell to fourth in the world, unable to keep up with the outsize gains of others, now he has $72.3 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder moved up to number five for the first time, after his fortune rose $11.4 billion in 12 months, he is now worth $56 billion.
Meanwhile Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, once the world’s richest man, fell to number six, the first time he’s been out of the top five in a dozen years, according to Forbes; his fortune now stands at $54.5 billion.
Forbes says it was a record year for the richest people on earth, as the number of billionaires jumped 13 percent to 2,043 from 1,810 last year, the first time ever that Forbes has pinned down more than 2,000 ten-figure-fortunes.
According to Forbes, their total net worth rose by 18 percent to $7.67 trillion, also a record. The change in the number of billionaires — up 233 since the 2016 list — was the biggest in the 31 years that Forbes has been tracking billionaires globally. “Gainers since last year’s list outnumbered losers by more than three to one,” Forbes said in its report.