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A Peek at 5 African Millionaires Working Hard to Hit the Billion-dollar Mark

Africa is grappling with huge unemployment figures, but these strong-minded young African entrepreneurs have gone all out to arrive at the continent’s fastest growing destination of millionaires.

With interest in communications, technology, financial services and manufacturing, these young ones are surely aiming to hit the billions with their works.

Here are five African millionaires who may soon hit the billion-dollar mark:

Abasiama Idaresit

The Nigerian entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of Wild Fusion, a Nigeria-based digital marketing agency with a presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. The company works with blue—chips companies including Pepsi, Unilever, Diamond Bank and Vodafone.

Idaresit’s success stage has not been easy. When he completed his Information Systems and Management course at the London School of Economics in 2008, Idaresit returned to Nigeria to start Wild Fusion. His aim was to use the internet to transform the local business environment.

But then, internet advertising was not common in the country. He had a hard time growing his business until he came across Baby M, a small business in Lagos that catered to the needs of new mothers and their babies. Idaresit’s $250-money-back trial service increased the company’s revenue from $1,000 a month, to an explosive $100,000 a month.

This shocked many and caught the attention of Google, which has since then, turned Abasiama’s success into an internet marketing case study. In 2012, the company recorded an annual turnover of

$6 million.


Patrick Ngowi

During his short stint in the mobile phone business while a teenager, Tanzanian entrepreneur, Ngowi realized that many of his customers did not have access to electricity to charge their phones.

After studying renewable and alternative energy in Dezhou University, China, Ngowi returned to Tanzania to begin Helvetic Solar Contractors, a company that has now installed more than 6,000 small rooftop solar systems in his country and four other East African countries – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The company which has generated about $8 million dollars in revenue has also worked with several clients including the Tanzanian government and the United Nations, proving water heating systems.

In 2012, Helvetic ranked number one among the Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies that are fast-growing. In early 2013, he was featured by Forbes as one of the 10 Young African Millionaires to watch in 2013.



Ashish Thakkar

The 36-year-old Ugandan entrepreneur is the founder of Mara Group, a Pan-African conglomerate that has an interest in IT, banking, real estate, manufacturing and agriculture.

Born in the United Kingdom, Thakkar moved to East Africa as a teenager before founding Mara Group at the age of 15. The company has more than 8,000 employees and is present in around 22 African countries.

The company’s annual turnover is more than $100 million. Thakkar said he was moved to start his business after his family lost their properties in the Rwandan genocide, which led them to flee to Burundi and later Uganda.

From selling computer parts after dropping out of school at the age of 15, the former refugee’s net worth is around $425 million as of January 2017, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.


Vinny Lingham

The South African internet entrepreneur is the co-founder and CEO of Civic, an identity protection and management startup.

He has two other companies, incuBeta and Click2Customers, which provide online marketing services and search engine marketing software respectively.

These two companies, founded in 2003 are located in several cities including Cape Town, London and Los Angeles. The annual revenue of Click2Customer is estimated to be about $100 million.

The tech tycoon is also the founder and CEO of other companies including Gyft and Yola Inc., Lingham, as well as, SiliconCape, a South-African based NGO that aims at making Cape Town a technology hub.


Jason Chukwuma Njoku

The 37-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur is the CEO and founder of Iroko Partners, the largest distributor of Nigerian music and movies online.

After a number of failed enterprises between 2005 and 2010, which included a blog network, a T-shirt business and a web design company, Njoku founded iROKO in 2010 with his friend Bastian Gotter at an investment cost of $150,000.

The following year, the group received $8 million from Tiger Global as venture capital, which enabled it to launch its stand-alone video-on-demand platform iROKOtv on December 1, 2011.

The site drew viewers from 178 countries and generated an annual revenue of $1.3 million in the same year.

iROKOtv has since then had productive deals with Vimeo, Amazon, iTunes and Dailymotion. Njoku’s net worth, as of 2012, was $30 million.


Written by How Africa

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