South Africa is the richest country, Nigeria has the richest man but they could not beat Kenya in having Africa’s richest president.
Uhuru Kenyatta is now Africa’s richest president.
Kenya’s fourth president was in 2011 named the 26th richest man in Africa by Forbes Magazine, with a net worth of $500 million. That was Forbes’ inaugural African list, but Uhuru would see his name not included a year later, with the magazine citing unclear ownership percentage in the Kenyatta family businesses.
In 2011, Forbes had declared Uhuru’s main source of wealth as land. This was their description then.
Source of wealth: Land
Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and heir to some of the largest land holdings in Kenya. He owns at least 500,000 acres of prime land spread across the country. The land was acquired by his father in the 1960s and 1970s when the British colonial government and the World Bank funded a settlement transfer fund scheme that enabled government officials and wealthy Kenyans to acquire land from the British at very low prices. Uhuru and his family also own Brookside Dairies, Kenya’s largest dairy company, as well as stakes in popular television station K24 and a commercial bank in Nairobi, among other interests.
When they took him off their list, this was their description.
Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
Source of wealth: LandThe son of Kenya’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta is a heir to some of the largest land holdings in Kenya. The Kenyatta family of which he is a key member, owns over 500,000 acres of prime Kenyan land, along with other assets such as a stake in the Commercial Bank of Africa, a dairy company and a television station. He dropped off due to uncertainty over who in his family is the chief custodian of the vast land holdings.
President Uhuru may have been removed from the list, but that did not take away any wealth from him. Though it’s still unclear the ownership structure in the Kenyatta family, it is certain that President Uhuru is very wealthy individually. Wealthy enough to be Africa’s richest president, because anyway, of the 25 individuals above him in Forbes 2011 list, none was a president.
Traditional estimates (other than Forbes), have placed Kenyatta’s family wealth at over KSh 150 billion. Forbes, in their list, did not indicate most of the family’s businesses. Some of those left out were a number of international schools including Peponi and Brookhouse and of course the Heritage Hotels Ltd, through which they own at least 6 of the country’s prime tourist hotels including Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha.
It is therefore likely that the Kenyatta family is much richer than the $500 million (Sh 40 billion) indicated by Forbes.
Working with this, Uhuru Kenyatta is easily Africa’s richest president. His only competitor at the top is Equatorial Guinea dictator president Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Some estimates have put his wealth at around $600 million, but others term it a gross exaggeration.
The other rich African leader is the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, whose wealth stands at over $2 billion. His case is however different, as his position is not democratic, and has been in power for 14 years now. It is also not surprising that the world’s richest heads of states are from oil producing Arabic countries.
King Mswati III of Swaziland is another wealthy head of state in Africa, with his wealth standing at over $200 million.
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is also incredibly wealthy, and some believe his personal fortune stands at over $500 million. None of this has ever been confirmed or documented though.