The number of high-net-worth (millionaires) individuals in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, fell by 30 per cent in the past decade (2012-2022), a new report has revealed.
Henley & Partners, the global firm in residence and citizenship by investment analysis, made this known in its latest edition of the “Africa Wealth Report” AWR published in March.
The report is a definitive guide to Africa’s wealth and luxury sector, and it is usually published annually in partnership with a wealth intelligence firm, New World Wealth.
It 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.
According to the 72-page report, South Africa tops the list of the top 10 wealthiest countries in Africa in terms of resident high-net-worth individuals by some margin.
It noted that Mauritius’ high ranking is also impressive when considering its small size and population.
“South Africa’s high centi-millionaire count is particularly notable. Centi-millionaires are typically the founders of large multinational companies, making their presence in a country particularly valuable when it comes to creating employment,” the report said.
The 2023 edition of the AWR reveals that the ‘Big 5’ wealth markets in Africa are South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco and that these countries, together, account for a significant 56 per cent of Africa’s high-net-worth individuals and over 90 per cent of the continent’s billionaires.
However, it said their continued dominance is far from assured, adding that the five aforementioned countries could soon be challenged by the likes of Mauritius and Rwanda, which are fast gaining ground.
“Namibia’s new residence by investment offering positions it as a future potential rival as well,” the report said.
The report explained that the total high-net-worth individual numbers in Africa have fallen by 12 per cent over the past decade under review (2012 to 2022).
It said performance was constrained by poor growth in the three largest African markets, namely South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria.
“Rwanda was the top performing market in Africa during the period, with millionaire growth of 72%, followed by Mauritius, Seychelles, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the report said, adding that Morocco and Kenya’s high-net-worth individual populations also grew solidly.
“Ethiopia and Ghana, whose millionaire populations had been growing rapidly until 2019, have struggled over the past few years, which has pulled back their 10-year growth rates,” the AWR noted.
According to the report, the number of individuals who are worth over $1 million in Africa is pegged at 138,000. Of this figure, only 328 people in the continent are worth more than $100 million and just 23 are worth more than $1 billion within the last decade.
South Africa tops the list of countries with the highest individuals with a net worth of $1 million and above (37,800) and $100 million and above(98).
Egypt which secured the second spot on the list has 16,100 individuals with a net worth of $1 million and above, while 54 are worth at least $100 million and above.
Meanwhile, the continent’s most populous nation, Nigeria, is ranked third among the top ten wealthiest countries in Africa, the report said.
According to the report, 9,800 people in the West African country are worth $1 million and above, while 27 are worth $100 million and above.
However, Egypt has the highest number of billionaires in the continent of Africa. The report pegged the northeastern African country individuals with a net worth of $1 billion and above at Eight. South Africa has five, while Nigeria and Morocco have four each.
Between 2012 and 2022, the report noted that approximately 18,500 high-net-worth individuals have left Africa. It said most have relocated to the UK, the USA, and the UAE.
“Significant numbers have also moved to Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Monaco, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland,” the report said.
In terms of internal millionaire migration within the continent, the report said approximately 1,200 high-net-worth individuals have moved between African countries over the 10-year period, with most relocating to Mauritius and South Africa.
“A large number of billionaires have left Africa over the past 20 years or so. Notably, there are 52 African-born billionaires globally, of whom only 23 still live on African soil. This is a significant concern as many billionaires are entrepreneurs and company founders,” the report noted.
These individuals, the report said, have the ability to create significant employment in their host countries, noting that billionaires rarely move for tax reasons but that they usually relocate to expand their businesses or due to safety concerns.
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