The Ghanaian capital of Accra is expected to add dollar millionaires at the fastest rate of any African city over the next decade, as a stable political regime and developed banking system help boost financial services, telecommunications and property development.
The number of people with net assets, excluding their primary residence, of more than $1 million will surge by 78% to 4,100 individuals in Accra by 2025, according to an AfrAsia Bank New World Wealth report into African cities published Wednesday.
The number of millionaires in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, will climb 71%, while those in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Africa’s biggest, will advance 46%.
“Ghana has one of the best developed banking systems in Africa,” Andrew Amoils, an analyst at Johannesburg-based New World, said in an e-mailed response to questions.
“It also has a strong free media and a competitive political structure, unlike most other African countries.” Accra’s expansion of wealthy people will also be spurred by “significant growth” in media and healthcare, he said.
Johannesburg is the African city with the most millionaires in 2015 and is expected to retain that position with a 39% surge to 32,600 over the next decade. The South African city, which has the continent’s largest stock exchange and more entrepreneurs than anywhere else in Africa, has more than twice as many millionaires as Cairo, which is second on the 2015 list at 10,200 individuals.
Only cities with a minimum of 2,000 millionaires were included in the report.
There are about dollar 163,000 millionaires living in Africa as of June 2015, with combined wealth of $670 billion, according to the report.
According to Africa’s biggest lender Standard Bank Group, the number of dollar millionaires in Kenya will grow at more than double the global rate over the next decade. Kenya currently has about 8,700 millionaires out of 18 million globally.
Early last month, the Johannesburg-based research company New World Wealth said Mozambique is the country expected to add dollar millionaires at the fastest rate in Africa over the next decade followed by Ivory Coast and Zambia.
Although their absolute numbers will still be fewer than those of the other countries on the leaderboard, the number of people with net assets, excluding their primary residence, of more than $1 million will surge 120% in Mozambique by 2024 to 2,200, the firm predicted.
The number of millionaires in Ivory Coast will jump 109% to 4,800 while those in Zambia will double, the company forecast.
South Africa currently has 46,800 millionaires, and Egypt 20,200, but growth in the numbers of the rich have been held back by emigration from a stuttering economy in South Africa and instability in Egypt.
Still, South Africa is expected to remain home to most of the continent’s wealthy, with their numbers rising 40% in the next decade to 65,700.
According to the Knight Frank LLP’s Wealth Report 2015, the pace will be even faster, with the number of millionaires in Africa increasing by 54% over the next decade compared with 31% across the rest of the world.
For the first time in more than a year, no one in either Sierra Leone or Liberia is being treated for Ebola, raising hopes that after more than 11 000 deaths and 28 000 infections throughout West Africa, the epidemic could finally be winding down.
But 18 months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) formally announced the beginning of the Ebola outbreak in March 2014, the last thing the region needs is another false dawn. Three months ago, Liberia was declared free of the virus only for new cases to emerge.
Although there are just three known cases left in the region and just 629 potential contacts still under observation, the epidemic isn’t yet over.
Here is where things stand:
Guinea is where the outbreak started in December 2013 with the death of a two-year-old boy. Now, 20 months on, much of the country is Ebola-free, including the southeastern forest region where the index case originated. But there remain a few pockets of resistance, particularly in and around the capital Conakry, where the only three current cases in the entire region were recorded during the week ending 23 August. Approximately 600 people are still under observation in Guinea and WHO warns that “there remains a significant risk of further transmission,” particularly because one of the positive cases – a taxi driver who was not previously on any contact lists – could have spread the virus to his passengers. Guinea is also the site of the first health worker infection in more than one month.
Cases: 10 672
Deaths: 4 808
Last month, Liberia began a 42-day countdown to being Ebola-free, but not for the first time. The outbreak was previously declared over in the country on 9 May. But on 30 June, the Ministry of Health announced that a teenaged boy had tested positive in a small town on the outskirts of Monrovia. Over the next two weeks, five more cases were confirmed. The source of the second outbreak is still unknown, but Ebola response teams were able to quickly contain the flare-up. The last patient was discharged on 23 July and all potential contacts have since passed the 21-day incubation period. Liberia could once again be declared Ebola-free on 3 September.
Cases: 13 541
Deaths: 3 952
Sierra Leone has now gone two consecutive weeks without any new cases being reported. The last patients were sent home as survivors on 24 August. Just 29 contacts are still under a 21-day surveillance period, which is set to end on Saturday. If no new cases surface, Sierra Leone will be declared free of Ebola on 5 October.
Today relatives of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram are marking 500 days since the abductions, with hope dwindling for their rescue despite a renewed push to end the insurgency.
The landmark comes amid a worsening security crisis in the northeast, where Islamists have stepped up deadly attacks since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, killing more than 1 000 people in three months.
Boko Haram fighters stormed the Government Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state on the evening of April 14 last year, seizing 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams.
Fifty-seven escaped but nothing has been heard of the 219 others since May last year, when about 100 of them appeared in a Boko Haram video, dressed in Muslim attire and reciting the Koran.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has since said they have all converted to Islam and been “married off”.
The Bring Back Our Girls social media and protest campaign has announced a youth march in the capital Abuja to mark the grim anniversary along with an evening candle-lit vigil.
Spokeswoman Aisha Yesufu said she was hopeful that the “right thing will be done?” under the new regime of Buhari, who replaced Goodluck Jonathan on May 29, vowing to crush Boko Haram.
“We have a new government. Yes, we have seen the kind of things he has done, his body language, what he has said about our girls. He has made them an issue,” she said.
“He has given his word that he will do all he can to ensure the girls are rescued, not only to their parents, but for them to go back to school and continue with their lives.
“So we are hopeful that the right things (will) be done but at the same time we Nigerians should understand that the rescue of the Chibok girls is not a privilege … it’s their right as enshrined in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
The mass abduction brought the brutality of the Islamist insurgency unprecedented worldwide attention and prompted a viral social media campaign demanding their release backed by personalities from US First Lady Michelle Obama to the actress Angelina Jolie.
Nigeria’s government was criticised for its initial response to the crisis and Western powers, including the US, have offered logistical and military support to Nigeria’s rescue effort, but there have been few signs of progress so far.
The military has said it knows where the girls are but has ruled out a rescue effort because of the dangers to the girls’ lives.
Boko Haram, blamed for killing more than 15 000 people and forcing some 1.5 million to flee their homes in a six-year insurgency, has rampaged across Borno since Buhari’s inauguration.
Global sex trade
The fresh wave of violence has dealt a setback to a four-country offensive launched in February that had chalked up a number of victories against the jihadists.
An 8 700-strong Multi-National Joint Task Force, drawing in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin, is expected to go into action soon.
In a report published in April, Amnesty quoted a senior military officer as saying the girls were being held at different Boko Haram camps, including in Cameroon and possibly Chad.
The Chibok abduction was one of 38 it had documented since the beginning of last year, with women and girls who escaped saying they were subject to forced labour and marriage, as well as rape.
Fulan Nasrullah, a respected Nigerian security analyst and blogger who claims specialist knowledge of the inner workings of Boko Haram, said there was “no hope” of ever recovering most of the Chibok girls.
“Most have had kids by now and are married to their captors. Many have been sold into the global sex trade and are probably prostituting in Sudan, Dubai, Cairo and other far flung places,” he said.
“Some have been killed probably in attempts to escape, airstrikes on camps where they were being held, et cetera.” – By Ola Awoniyi