Private wealth in Africa set for $798 billion jump to $3 trillion

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What you need to know:

  • Smaller, better-organised economies in Africa are fast turning into wealth hubs, home to more and more of the continent’s dollar millionaires

Nairobi. Africa’s stock of private wealth is forecast to jump 38 percent to nearly $3 trillion over the next decade, with Mauritius and Rwanda witnessing the strongest growth.

Smaller, better-organised economies in Africa are fast turning into wealth hubs, home to more and more of the continent’s dollar millionaires.

According to the latest Africa Wealth Report 2022 by Henley Global, the tide is swinging in the direction of smaller emerging economies thanks to their growing exchequer hygiene.

“Key drivers of this trend are the recognition by these economies that they can attract substantial capital if they have the right regulatory framework,” notes Vusi Thembekwayo, venture capitalist and MyGrowthFund Venture partner.

“This regulatory regime includes preferential terms for capital gains tax and inheritance tax and an environment that allows for ease of doing business.”

In the period under review, Africa’s total private wealth -- currently worth $2.1 trillion -- will swell 38 per cent by 2031, representing a $798 billion jump.

“Our growth projections for Mauritius are strong – we expect the country to experience wealth growth of 80 percent over the next decade (to 2031),” the wealth report forecasts.

“This will make it one of the fastest growing high-income markets in the world over this period (in percentage growth terms), together with Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Malta.”

By 2031, the number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) in Mauritius is expected to reach over 8,000, almost Kenya’s current total despite their size difference.

Rwanda (60 per cent), Ethiopia (52 percent), Uganda (50 percent), Kenya (43 percent), Ghana (36 percent), Tanzania (34 percent), Ivory Coast (25 percent), Mozambique (20 percent) and Morocco (18 percent) are the other states expected to record significant jumps in private wealth.

Africa’s ‘Big 5’ wealth markets are South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Kenya which together account for over 50 percent of Africa’s total wealth.

But South Africa dominates the continent in wealth, being home to over twice as many dollar millionaires as any other African state.

Tellingly, Africa’s two wealthiest cities are in South Africa.

Johannesburg is the wealthiest, with a total private wealth of $239 billion, while Cape Town in second place has a total private wealth of $131 billion.

South Africa is home to the largest luxury market in Africa by revenue, followed by Kenya and then Morocco.

Major components of this include luxury hotels and lodges, cars, clothing and accessories, watches, private jets and yachts.

Meanwhile, African investors are showing a preference for real estate-linked investment migration programs as a hedge against the unrelenting currency, market and political volatility on the continent.

Ms Amanda Smit, who is the Managing Partner Henley & Partners South Africa notes that Southern African countries predominated the growth markets on the continent in 2021.

“We saw the highest level of growth in Zimbabwe, with a remarkable increase of 48 per cent in enquiries in 2021 compared to 2020,” she said in the Africa Wealth Report.

“Neighbouring South Africa reported the second-highest level of growth, with an increase of 40 percent in enquiries, and had a record-breaking year in terms of the total number of enquiries ever received by Henley & Partners from South African citizens."