Africa’s millionaire population is expected to rise by 42% over the next 10 years, reaching around 195,000 by 2032, according to the 2023 Africa Wealth Report published by Henley & Partners in partnership with wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth.
Mauritius is predicted to be the standout, with 75% growth forecast for the next decade. Strong high-net-worth individual (HNWI) growth of 60%+ is also forecast in Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia, the Seychelles, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Morocco.
Rwanda is shown to be the top performing market in Africa over the last decade (2012-22), with millionaire growth of 72%, followed by Mauritius, the Seychelles, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
However, the report finds that total HNWI numbers in Africa have fallen by 12% over the same period. It says that performance was constrained by poor growth in the three largest African markets, South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria. Ethiopia and Ghana, whose millionaire populations had been growing rapidly until 2019, have struggled over the past few years, which has lessened their 10-year growth rates.
A factor to contributing to the fall in numbers across Africa is that approximately 18,500 HNWIs have left the continent over the past decade, while only 23 of the world’s 52 African-born billionaires still live there. Most of the HNWIs have relocated to the UK, the USA, and the UAE. Significant numbers have also moved to Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Monaco, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland.
The ‘Big 5’ wealth markets in Africa — South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco — together account for 56% of Africa’s HNWIs and over 90% of the continent’s billionaires. South Africa tops the list of the Top 10 wealthiest countries in Africa in terms of resident HNWIs by some margin.
Potential for growth in eco-tourism
The report draws attention to the popularity of eco pursuits among Africans, and particularly HNWIs.
“Although eco-tourism demands a more nuanced and intentional approach than regular tourism, the presence of top international hotel groups across the continent illustrates that players with deep pockets are already invested and are likely to take up the opportunity to enter this new space,” say the authors. “This of course does not preclude new homegrown entrants from investing in the sector or from partnering with established international hospitality chains.”
This underlines the potential for growth of the continent’s rapidly recovering tourism sector and its role as a significant employment creator, both internally and in the related food, services, and manufacturing sectors, says the report.
Africa’s women entrepreneurs lead the world
Africa has the highest rate of women starting up businesses, says the report, with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/22 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report finding that women are more likely than men to be entrepreneurs on the continent.
Women in Africa also contribute significantly in multiple ways to general wealth creation on the continent, says the report, for example, through consumer spending, workforce participation, and business ownership, while women entrepreneurs drive innovation and economic growth.
“It would be wonderful to see the women of Africa leading the foray into eco-tourism and growing their existing small agricultural businesses into formidable enterprises, so that in future, more women enter the ranks of high-net-worth individuals, centi-millionaires, and eventually billionaires,” says the report.