Mozambique and Ivory Coast will overtake Angola and Ghana as the countries in Africa with the fastest growth rate of millionaires by 2024, research company New World Wealth has predicted.
In Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries for decades, the number of people with net assets worth more than a million dollars – excluding the family home – will increase by 120 per cent to 2,200, while in Ivory Coast it will rise by 109 per cent to 4,800.
The Johannesburg-based company attributes Mozambique’s increase in high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) to the boost the economy will get from recent natural gas finds, which are said to be the biggest in the world over the past 10 years.
In Ivory Coast, which is still recovering from its 2003 civil war, a mix of construction, financial services and property development will expand the ranks of the country’s wealthy. Zambia comes third in the list, with its expected growth in millionaires attributed to property development.
Across the continent, there were approximately 161,000 millionaires at the end of 2014, with combined wealth of $660 billion (€602 billion), according to the African 2015 Wealth Report.
Africa’s HNWI numbers have increased by 145 per cent since 2000 compared with the worldwide growth rate of 73 per cent during the same period, the report states. The number of rich in Africa in this bracket is expected to rise by 45 per cent to 234,000 over the next decade.
Angola and Ghana were top of the wealth growth pile between 2000 and 2014, with the former recording per-capita wealth of $3,920 in 2014 from $620 in 2000. Their growth in wealthy individuals has been attributed to oil production, financial services and property development.
The worst performing country over the 14-year-period was Zimbabwe, where wealth per capita dropped from $630 a person in 2000 to $550 a person in 2014, while the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the poorest, at just $230 per person.
In terms of the countries with the most millionaires, South Africa and Egypt top the list with 46,800 and 20,200 millionaires respectively. But growth has been held back by emigration from a stuttering economy in South Africa’s case and political instability in Egypt’s.
Indeed, since 2000 the number of millionaires in South Africa fell by 8,000, with most of these emigrating to Australia, Britain, Cyprus, Mauritius, the US and Canada. Nevertheless, over the next decade this figure is expected to rise by 40 per cent to 65,700.
Despite the growth in millionaires, Africa still remains one of the poorest continents in the world, according to the World Bank. The organisation estimates the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day increased from 411.3 million in 2010 to 415.8 million in 2011.