In 2020, the world gained 493 new billionaires—approximately one every 17 hours. In the same year, Beijing overtook New York as the world’s billionaire capital as half of the top 10 billionaire cities are now in China. In Africa, the “Big 5” wealth markets are: South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Kenya – together, these five countries account for over 50% of Africa’s total wealth, according to data from the 2021 Africa Wealth Report.
The report, which provides a comprehensive review of the wealth sector in Africa, showed that South Africa is home to over twice as many millionaires (HNWls) as any other on the continent, whilst Egypt has the most billionaires on the continent.
The report also noted that the total wealth in Africa has fallen by 16% over the past decade (2010 – 2020) as the continent’s wealth result was constrained by poor economic conditions in the three largest markets, namely: South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria.
In this article, we take a look at Africa’s wealthiest cities by total wealth, courtesy of the 2021 Africa Wealth Report from New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank.
Note: Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by att the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities.
Founded in the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886, this is the wealthiest city in Africa. Most of Johannesburg’s wealth is concentrated in Sandton, home to the JSE (the largest stock market in Africa) and the head offices of most of Africa’s largest banks and corporates. Major sectors in the city include: financial services (banks) and professional services (law firms, consultancies).
2. Cape Town
This city is home to Africa’s most exclusive suburbs, including: Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, Llandudno, Camps Bay, Bishopscourt and Constantia. The city has the highest prime residential rates on the continent, similar to cities such as Washington, D.C., or Berlin, and is also home to several top-end lifestyle estates, including: Steenberg, Atlantic Beach and Silverhurst Estate. Major sectors there include: real estate and fund management.
Located along the Nile River, Cairo is one of the world’s most important cities historically. It is also home to more billionaires than any other city in Africa. Major sectors there include: financial services, telecoms, retail, tourism and basic materials.
Lagos is the largest city in Africa (in terms of its overall population) and the economic hub of West Africa. Affluent parts of Lagos include: lkoyi and Victoria Island. Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, oil & gas, transport and financial services.
Nairobi is the economic hub of East Africa and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Affluent parts of Nairobi include: Runda Estate, Lavington, Kitisuru, Karen and Muthaiga. Major industries there include: financial services, real estate, tourism, media, clothing, textiles, processed foods, beverages and cigarettes.
Here is a full ranking of the top 10 cities in Africa, based on the 2021 Africa Wealth Report
|City||Total Wealth (US $bn)||HNWIs ($1m+)||Multi-millionaires ($10m+)||Billionaires ($1bn+)|
|Durban & Umhlanga||55||3400||210||–|
|Paarl, Franschhoek & Stellenbosch||47||2800||160||2|