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Maghreb’s Small Billionaire Club

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According to Forbes, Africa had 1,426 billionaires in 2013. These are mostly business people and may not take into clear account the kings, president and generals who obviously are entitled to own what pleases them. Nigerian, South Africans and Egyptians tend to do well given the size of their economies and the greater role of private enterprise.

But there are a few names among Maghreb entrepreneurs. Of the top five, one is Algerian, four are Moroccans. No Tunisian, Libyan, or Mauritanian in the list. The first stop is more or less tied by new money Issad Rebrab of Algeria at $3.2 billion, and Othman Benjelloun of Morocco at $3.1 billion. Then you have Miloud Chaabi, Aziz Akhannouch and Anas Sefrioui with respectively $2.1 billion, $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion. Although these figures may not be fully accurate given the way these billionaire report their assets, they provide an acceptable proxy on wealth.

So collectively, these five men control more than $11 billion in fortune. That more than twice or two times the GDP of another Maghreb country, Mauritania. I thought you’d be interested in some meaningful comparison.

THE BILLION CLUB OF 5: And if you know others, shoot us an email

The North Africa Journal is a leading English-language publication focused on North Africa. The Journal covers primarily the Maghreb region and expands its general coverage to the Sahel, Egypt, and beyond, when events in those regions affect the broader North Africa geography. The Journal does not have any affiliation with any institution and has been independent since its founding in 1996. Our position is to always bring our best analysis of events affecting the region, and remain as neutral as humanly possible. Our coverage is not limited to one single topic, but ranges from economic and political affairs, to security, defense, social and environmental issues. We rely on our full staff analysts and editors to bring you best-in-class analysis. We also work with sister company MEA Risk LLC, to leverage the presence on the ground of a solid network of contributors and experts. Information on MEA Risk can be found at