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The Richest African Billionaires (Entrepreneurs): Five Business Lessons I learned from them

Who are the richest African billionaires (entrepreneurs)? What’s the secret to the success of the richest billionaires in Africa? How did they make their money? Well, I will advice you read on.

In this article, I will be sharing with you the five business lessons I learned from the richest African billionaires. This article will strictly be focusing on the billionaire entrepreneurs in Africa; and the emphasis will be on the lessons learned including the secrets to their success.

If you are interested in their net worth or wealth value, then Forbes magazine is the best place to spend your time. But if you are more interested in the behind-the-scene secrets to the success of the richest African billionaires; if you want to know how they made it in the harsh business terrain of Africa, then read on as I share with you the five business lessons I learned from the richest billionaires in Africa.

    Who are the Richest African Billionaires?

The following entrepreneurs below have made it to the Forbes list of world richest billionaires at one time or the other. The lesson of this article is not in their amassed wealth so this list is in no particular order. The lesson lies in how they made it.

  The Richest Billionaires and Entrepreneurs in Africa

1.            Mo Ibrahim:       Sudanese billionaire and founder of Celtel

2.            Aliko Dangote:  Nigerian Billionaire and founder of Dangote Group. (Currently the richest black African; richest black man and the richest black person in the world as at 9th March 2011).

3.            Patrice Motsepe:             South African billionaire and founder of Africa Rainbow Minerals

4.            Mohammed Al Amoudi:                               Ethiopian Billionaire

5.            Mike Adenuga:                 Nigerian Billionaire and founder of Globacom, Conoil and ETB

6.            Femi Otedola:                   Founder of Zenon oil and gas (No longer on the list as at 2012)

7.            Nicky Oppenheimer:      South African billionaire

8.            Nassef Sawiris:                  Egyptian billionaire

9.            Johan Rupert:                    South African billionaire

10.          Naguib Sawiris:                 Egyptian Billionaire

11.          Onsi Sawiris:                       Egyptian billionaire

12.          Mohammed Mansour:                  Egyptian billionaire

13.          Yassen Mansour:             Egyptian billionaire

  5 Business Lessons I Learned from the Richest African Billionaires

Lesson one:        Problems are opportunities

The first business lesson I learn from the African billionaires is that problems are not what they seem to be. They’ve taught me that problems are simply opportunities in disguise. Africa is often regarded as the third world; a continent engulfed in strife, political poverty and corruption.

Yet, in the midst of all these; some men stood their ground and built wealth where the poverty level is rated high. What lesson does this entail? The lesson here is simple: people’s problems are simply avenue to generate wealth; if only you can position yourself as a problem solver. The billionaires in Africa listed above were critical problem solvers; and that was why they became billionaires.

                What is the Primary Duty of an Entrepreneur?

Mike Adenuga and Mo Ibrahim solved the telecommunication problem in Africa; Aliko Dangote provided the basic needs of Nigerians and Africans in general while Patrice Motsepe helped Africa maximize her potentials with respect to mineral resources. So regardless of your region or predicament; just focus on solving problems and you may join this list of richest Africans.

Lesson two:        Money is not seen with your eyes

The second lesson I learned from Africa’s richest billionaires is that money is not seen with your eyes. If money can be seen with the eyes; the world would probably be running down to Africa because of the potentials she holds; but unfortunately, money is not seen with the eyes.

While others see Africa as a poverty stricken continent; these billionaires saw the hidden potentials in Africa. While others were screaming “stay away from Africa”, these men stood their grounds and invested in Africa and that’s why they became billionaires. Once again, I restate the lesson; money is not seen with your eyes. You can only see money with your mind; that’s if your mind has been trained to spot business opportunities amongst problems.

Lesson three:    Concentrate on your strength

How do you become a billionaire? This is one question most people ask online. Well, there are several factors to becoming a billionaire and one of such factors is concentration. Take a close observation of the richest billionaires in Africa and you will note that they concentrated on their core strengths. They did not diversify their effort; they concentrated on what they know how to do best.

Aliko Dangote concentrated on commodities; Femi Otedola concentrated on diesel, Mo Ibrahim focused on telecom and Patrice Motsepe concentrated on mineral mining. So if you are going to achieve extraordinary success; if you want to build a success business empire, then you must learn to concentrate your efforts on your core.

Lesson four:       Understand your business to the core

Why did the richest billionaires in Africa concentrate on a core business? The answer is simple. They concentrated because on one line of business because they understood that line to the core. To build a success business, you must understand your business to the core; you must know its intricacies and numbers.

Lesson five:        Despise not the days of little beginning

This fifth lesson is actually a verse I extracted from the holy bible. I extracted it because it’s in line with the lesson I am trying to buttress. Of all the lessons I learned from the richest African billionaires; this is the most important. Despise not the days of little beginning.

Aside the Sawiris family who inherited their wealth; the remaining African billionaires did not attain wealth by sudden flight. They worked their way up from the scratch. This lesson is very important especially for aspiring entrepreneurs that want to start a business. Building a business is not a one hit affair; success in business comes in bits and little winnings. Overnight success will not happen; so forget it.

Aliko Dangote did not become the richest black man in the world overnight; it took him 30 years to achieve it. None of the richest men in Africa achieved wealth overnight; they amassed wealth in bits. So if you aspire to become a millionaire or billionaire; if you aspire to build a business conglomerate, then start small and stick to the entrepreneurial process. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.

As a final note, these are the five business lessons I learned from the richest billionaire entrepreneurs in Africa. Do you want to replicate their success; then adhere to these business lessons and I will see you at the top.

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