Coming from nothing and making it into the world is the ultimate American dream, based on the perennial rags-to-riches story. Yet becoming a billionaire does not only require persistence, ambition and talent, it also sometimes means access to opportunities and a good dash of luck.
Despite black people being few among the world’s billionaires, they are notable – including the amazing Michael Jordan, who became the world’s first billionaire athlete. Here are the top five richest black people alive today.
1. Aliko Dangote – $14.1 billion
Every year The Forbes publishes their Billionaires List including a special report on black billionaires – who make up just 11 out of the 2,043 billionaires recorded in 2018’s list. Nigerian business mogul Aliko Dangote tops the list with $14.1 billion, making him the richest black person in Africa and around the globe. Although he comes from wealth, he has carefully built his empire from the ground up, leading the Dangote Group he founded in 1977. The company was initially focused in producing cement, but soon turned to manufacturing at home and branched out into sugar and salt refining, flour milling and packaging, among others, and owning its own flour mills and salt factories. The group is a leader in Nigeria’s food and beverages industry, with diversified investments in transport, real estate, oil, gas, textiles and banking.