How Africa’s rich spend their money

Among the top 10 most popular hobbies of African HNWIs, golf came in at second place. Image courtesy: Africa Endeavours
Among the top 10 most popular hobbies of African HNWIs, golf came in at second place. Image courtesy: Africa Endeavours
Among the top 10 most popular hobbies of African HNWIs, golf came in at second place. Image courtesy: Africa Endeavours

Millionaires are on the rise in the continent. A number of factors have contributed to this increase of high-net worth individuals (HNWIs), from an oil boom in Angola to telecom masterminds in suburban cubicles, they are reaping the benefits of some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

It’s a trend that keeps on rising, and the number of dollar millionaires in Africa has increased twofold since 2000. Now, there are over 145,000 HNWIs living on the continent, with a combined wealth holding of approximately $800 billion – that’s around $5 million per individual. Compared to the average African individual who has net assets of approximately $2,000, that is a huge difference.

The gap is obvious in the high-flying lifestyles led by the rich: Glamorous cars, weekend golf getaways, shopping sprees in Dubai – it’s a distant pipe-dream for many who work a nine-to-five.

How the rich spend their money

To show the world a comprehensive listing of how the other-half live their lives, AfrAsia Bank have put together a report that researches into the wealth, luxury, prime property, collectable and wealth management trends on the continent. The report sheds a new light on how money is being spent and enjoyed by those that can.

Wildlife safaris, in 2016, were seen as the most popular past time for HNWIs – taking a trip to the Masai Mara, Kenya to see the big five, or viewing gorillas in the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda, were enjoyed with five-star safari lodges and personal guides.

Among the top 10 most popular hobbies of African HNWIs, golf came in at second place. This was followed by cycling, African art collecting, horse riding and tennis.

Also among the top 10, spontaneous trips to the snow for skiing came in at seventh place, followed by car-collecting – with favourites being vintage Ferraris and Porsches.

There was also a mention of the rich’s taste for fine wine, time for fly-fishing and eye for luxurious watches.

According to the report, cycling and car collecting have increased in popularity as hobbies among HNWIs over the past few years.

At the same time, golf, tennis and horse riding have become less popular.

For holidaying, the rich frequent hotels and spas such as the 12 Apostles, Cape Town, Four Seasons, Seychelles, and La Mamounia, Marrakesh.

When they’re not spending it on sightseeing or sports, the rich invest their wealth in land. With the top-of-the-pile HNWIs spending on houses and education abroad, most notably London. Those who are keen in seeing development in their homeland, invest heavily in local education to improve school curriculum, teaching methods and infrastructure.

For a place to reside, wealthy Africans see Johannesburg, Cairo and Lagos, as popular grounds, and statistically those three cities hold the largest amount of HNWIs in Africa.

With an upward trend of millionaires residing in the continent, the number projected by experts to keep dramatically increasing – in turn, creating an even larger divide between the rich and the poor.