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Africa's Under-40 Millionaire Entrepreneurs

By AfSB Staff

Africa’s millionaires are getting younger and younger, which is not surprising for a continent that has the world’s largest youth population. Close to 70 percent of the population is aged below 25. Some 200 million individuals are aged between 15 and 24.

Like their counterparts worldwide, Africa’s Generation X (born after the post-World War II baby boom) and Generation Y, or millennials, generally shy away from the political arena, opting instead for the platforms of entrepreneurship and philanthropy to provide for themselves and to effect change. But on a continent that accounts for some of the highest youth unemployment figures in the world, entrepreneurship may be the only option for many, especially as the youth become better educated.      

Among the continent’s young millionaires is Ugandan-born Ashish J. Thakkar, who, at 32, is said to be Africa’s youngest billionaire. And at 36, Senegal’s Magatte Wade may be the only woman to crack the male-dominated list (see below).






Roland Agambire, 39


Group chairman, AGAMS Group; Founder/CEO, RLG Communications

Electronics manufacturer

Kamal Budhabatti, 36


CEO, Craft Silicon


Ladi Delano, 30



Founder/CEO, Bakrie Delano Africa

Investment – mining, agriculture, oil & gas

Nic Haralambous, 29

South Africa

Founder, ForeFront Africa

Mobile strategy

Abasiama Idaresit, 34


Founder/CEO, Wild Fusion

Digital marketing

Vinny Lingham, 34

South Africa

Internet entrepreneur

Online marketing; search engines

Michael Macharia, 38


Group CEO, Seven Seas Technologies

Technology solutions

Patrick Ngowi, 28



Founder/chairman, Helvetic Group of Companies

Renewable energy

Jason Njoku, 32,



Co-founder, iROKO Partners

African entertainment distribution

Sim Shagaya, 38


Digital entrepreneur

Retail; ecommerce

Mark Shuttleworth, 39


South Africa


Founder, Canonical Ltd., developer of Ubuntu 

 The world’s largest, free, open-source operating system

Justin Stanford, 28

South Africa

Founder/CEO, ESET Southern Africa;

Founder/CEO, 4ADi Group

Internet security;

Venture capital

 Ashish Thakkar, 32


Co-founder/CEO, Mara Group

 Real estate; manufacturing; technology; renewable energy; financial services

Magatte Wade, 36


Co-founder, Adina World Beat Beverages; Founder/CEO, Tiossan


Skin care

Source: Ventures Africa, Forbes, and others

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