Why Kenya lacks dollar billionaires

Friday, March 6th, 2020 15:40 | By

Kenya doesn’t have any dollar billionaire (sh 100 billion and over) despite being the second country with the highest number of billionaires in the East African Region a new research has revealed.

The wealth report by Knight Frank shows that Kenya doesn’t and will not have any dollar billionaire by 2024.

The report shows that Tanzania is the only East African country with a dollar billionaire and the number is expected to remain for the next five years.

 “When talking about net wealth, this year we included both primary residences as well as second homes not owned primarily as investments as we feel this gives a more accurate representation of total wealth,” said Ben Woodhams, Managing Director Knight Frank Kenya.

Africa as a region has a total of 22 dollar billionaires. South Africa and Egypt continue to lead with the highest number of dollar billionaires standing at six per country as of 2019 followed by Nigeria and Morocco with three each, Tanzania and Angola with one.

Kenya boosts of about 42 billionaires or Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) those with Sh3 billion ($30 million) and above down from 48 in 2018. However, Kenya’s UHNWIs are expected to grow by 14 per cent in the next five years to return to 48 super-rich Kenyans. Tanzania has about 114 of such individuals with a projection of 54 per cent growth rate to 175 by 2024.

Conversely, the dollar millionaires or High-Net-Worth-Individuals(HNWIs) those who are worth over Sh1 billion has also dropped from 3,399 to 2,900. However, Kenyan’s HNWIs are expected to grow by 16 per cent to 3,369 in the next five years.

 “Economic downturn is one of the reasons that saw assets of the  richest Kenyans lose value and consequently making some of them to fall out of the two categories of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals and  High-Net-Worth-Individuals,” adds Ben.

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