It is no longer shocking that Kenya is the largest economy in the East African Community, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $45.31 billion in 2013. More amazingly, Kenya in its cool, warm and humid climate houses some of the richest people in Africa. Of course, it prides in not only having some of the richest men in Africa, but it is also competing for the best spot with other countries having the richest people in Africa and world at large such as Nigeria and South Africa. Although, just very few made the Forbes list of richest people in Africa, because companies like Forbes, Bloomberg and Ventures estimate the wealth of individuals and usually rank them based on the value of shares they have in quoted companies (ie companies listed on the stock exchange). Shockingly, the list is made up mostly of politicians and very few businessmen. Keep in mind that these are multi-billionaires and multi-millionaires. Anyway, for better understanding, all figures relating to their net worth are in US dollars.
Thus, in this article, we’ve taken a look at list done by Forbes and have combined that with information from other sources such as Bloomberg, Forbes and Ventures Africa to come up with a more comprehensive list of the richest men in Kenya.
Richest People in Kenya
1. Moi & Family
Moi’s Family is regarded as the top richest not only in Kenya but in the whole of East and Central Africa. This family has properties distributed all over the World. Credible sources disclose the former President’s last born; Gideon Moi has interest in Maritime, Kent ship, Sielei properties Ltd, Giant Forex Bureau, Revak Ltd, Giant Holdings, Sudbury Ltd, Westfield International, Metipso Services Ltd, and Homestead Enterprises. He also owns 2 properties in London held in trust, with more in South Africa. Generally, the family itself has interests in Fresh Produce Ltd, Chemusian Company, Signon Freight, Eagles Airlines, Car Track Kenya Ltd, Equatorial Bank and American Bank.
Other sources report that Moi owns Mugoya construction, Asian Roses, First Force Security Company, Equity Stock Brokers, Safariland Club, Taurino Enterprises, Regent Management and Giro Bank. And to think there is an end, Moi still owns Paradise Holdings, Gateway Properties Inc, Hahuru Investors, Sheraton Holdings, Concord Holdings, Ectar Kenya Ltd and Tiger Farm Ltd. Moi has also invested in the education sector like the Moi High School and Kabarak University. And in land ownership, Moi is placed 2nd just after the Kenyatta Family.
Philip Moi, another of Moi’s sons has a wealth estimate of approximately Ksh 52 Billion and also controls much more property compared to his younger brother Gideon. To summarize, if all of Moi’s wealth is to be mentioned it would cover a booklet, it’s easy to see why he is mentioned as one of the richest in Kenya. His net worth is estimated to be more than $3 billion in America dollars.
2. Manu Chandaria
Manu Chandaria made the top of the list above some of the popular politicians we know. Kenyan-born Manu Chandaria’s is the Chairman of Comcraft Group, a multinational industrial conglomerate employing more than 40,000 people across 45 countries on four continents.
Chandaria’s father came to Kenya in 1916 and started out a small provisions store in Nairobi, which he built into Kaluworks, a company that produced aluminum cookware. That company grew into Comcraft. When Chandaria got back to Kenya in 1951 after acquiring a Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, he became the manager of his father’s company and built Comcraft into one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest steel and aluminum companies.
Just last year, the combined revenues of his group reached approximately $2.5 billion. His Chandaria Foundation is widely known as one of the most generous in East Africa, having spent an estimated $100 million for child health and education. Additionally, the company has created about 37,600 jobs over the years. Chandaria’s net worth is estimated at $1.7 BILLION.
3. Nicholas Biwott
He is commonly known by his nick-name -Total man. He is a very skillful Business-man. He was able to accumulate power and establish an enviable business domain touching almost all the sectors of the country’s economy. The sectors include mining, tourism, real estate, air transport, telecommunications, agriculture, construction, and energy.
He generally imports fuel and then sells to the local distributors. Tel Aviv, one of the biggest hotels in Israel is owned by Mr Biwott. He also owns the biggest ranch in Australia (about 1000 ha). Biwott owns so much that you’ll fill a whole page to list all his possible investments. In fact, Nicholas Biwott’s wealth is estimated to be a lot more than $1.1 billion.
4. Mama Ngina Kenyatta
Let it not surprise you to see the Mother of Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and wife of Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta, Mama Ngina Kenyatta in the list. She is East Africa’s richest woman and has a large collection of prime real estate her husband acquired in the 1960s and 70s during a British colonial government and World Bank-sponsored settlement transfer scheme, which allowed government officials and affluent Kenyans to acquire land from British colonialists at dirt-cheap prices. Jomo Kenyatta acquired hundreds of thousands of hectares across various regions in Kenya. Today, Mama Ngina Kenyatta holds over 200,000 hectares in trust for her family. In some of Nairobi’s leafy suburbs where she has large holdings, land goes for up to $2 million per half-hectare. She also owns, along with her children, stakes in several of Kenya’s successful companies including Brookside, Kenya’s largest manufacturer of dairy products in which UAE private equity firm the Abraaj Group is also an investor. Mama Ngina Kenyatta lives in Muthaiga, one of Nairobi’s most affluent suburbs. She has created 50 jobs and has $1 BILLION Net worth.
5. The Kenyatta Family
Kenyatta is the founding father of the Kenyan Nation. Credible sources say that the family owns a land equivalent to the Nyanza province. They have managed to invest in Agriculture, Mining, Tourism, Insurance, Telecommunication, Energy, Real estate and banking. Just like Biwott, they own the Biggest Insurance company based in Germany, they also own some Jewellery shops located in France, more Modern properties in U.S.A and Britain. And the famous Brookside. Credible sources reveal that the Kenyatta’s are worth Ksh 130 billion or more.
6. Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga is the son of Kenya’s first vice president, Jaramogi Odinga Odinga. He has also played a prominent role in Kenya’s politics for quite some time. He has worked in successive governments as a member of parliament, cabinet minister, and prime minister and was appointed the prime minister after the disputed 2007 presidential election in which he was a presidential candidate running on the Orange Democratic Movement ticket. Odinga is believed to be among Kenya’s wealthy elite, with interests in Pan-African Petroleum Industrial Services Limited, Kisumu Molasses Plant, East Africa Spectre Limited, Residential and commercial property in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa.
7. Joshua Kulei
Joshua Kulei was the ex-President Moi’s personal assistant. He owns CFC Bank, Trade World Kenya, CMC Holdings, Ngata Flower Farm and Sian roses. He has interest in Kenya Television Network, Bamburi Cement Kenya Aerotech Ltd, National Milling Company and Signon Freight. Kulei has properties in Lavington, Nakuru, and Karen. Although, he seems to be one of the lesser known richest people in Kenya.
8. Charles Njonjo
Njonjo is a famously outspoken politician cum businessman. He had in the past served as the attorney general of Kenya and is now retired. Though he is retired, he is financially unsurpassable. In fact glance below to see some of the companies that he is said to have an interest in:
- CFC Stanbic Bank
- CMC Holdings
- Car & General East Africa
- British American Investment Company
- Barclays Bank Kenya
- Alico Insurance
- Sankara Hotel
9. Phillip Ndegwa Family
Regarded as a family with well-distributed assets, the family has invested in industry, banking, air transport, agriculture, and e.t.c. He is among the richest and his net worth is by far more than Ksh 118 billion.
10. S.K. Macharia
Mr. Macharia has investments in Agriculture, Real Estate, Transport, Banking, and Telecommunication. In fact, he is worth over Ksh 112 billion.
11. Emilio Mwai Kibaki
The former president of Kenya made the list. Mr. Kibaki has investments in Banking, Agriculture, Telecommunication, Insurance, and Tourism. His net worth is estimated to be over Ksh 110 billion. Kibaki worth billions of shillings and owns large pieces of productive land in Kenya, has shares in many of the major companies in Kenya, and has commercial and residential properties in various parts of the country.
12. Naushad Merali
Naushad Merali is a businessman and an industrialist. He is the founder of the Kenyan mobile service provider Kencell along with French media giant. He controls companies with combined assets worth more than 15 billion shillings. He is without any doubt worthy of being on the list of richest people in Kenya.
13. John Harun Mwau
John Harun is very wealthy. In fact, the president of United States (Obama) once accused John Harun Mwau of being a drug baron, but Mwau denies those allegations. He became a member of the Parliament in 1992 and was appointed the head of anti-corruption by President Moi. He unbelievably, from his wealth, initiated a rural electrification program in Ukambani and took all councilors from Ukambani on a trip to Israel at a cost of 80 million shillings. So far, he has invested more than 80 billion shillings just in the United States and is also said to be owning other multi-billion dollar companies in Asia and the Middle East. Some of his well-known companies include:
- Harun International Limited
- Vitu Limited
- Mwundo Limited
- Pepe Enterprises
- Sheltown Limited
14. Simeon Nyachae
Simeon Nyachae is a famous businessman and politician who has accumulated a good amount of wealth during his days in government. Although he is no longer in service of the government, he is very wealthy.
15. Stanley Githunguri
Stanley Githunguri made the list of wealthiest people in kenya. He worked at the National Bank of Kenya and served as Executive Chairman from 1976 to 1979. He owns Lilian Towers in which the popular Nairobi Safari Club stands. He also owns shares in many companies, vast hectares of land, and has cash crop growing farms in central Kenya. He really made it to this list through sheer hard work. However, based on Wikipedia, the wealthiest people in Kenya as at January 2015 are listed below:
Bhimji Depar Shah & Family who base in Nairobi recorded 700 million dollars in 2014 from Manufacturing, Investments
Naushad Merali who lives in Nairobi also recorded 430 million in (2013) from Banking, Dairy processing, Tire manufacture, Transportation
Uhuru Kenyatta & Family in Nairobi falls third on the list of wealthiest people in Kenya from Banking, Hotels, Dairy processing, Real estate
Chris Kirubi recorded 300 million in (2011) from Broadcasting, Investments, Real estate
Atul Shah is the fifth on our list for running Nakumatt Supermarkets
The Makuha Kago Family made the list for running Naivas Supermarkets
The Joram Kamau Family made the list for running Tuskys Supermarkets
Peter Kahara Munga recorded 100+ million in 2014 from Investments, Real Estate business
James Mwangi & Family recorded 170+ million in 2014 for being a member of Equity Bank Group and engaging in other Investments such as Real estate
Raila Odinga & Family made the list for dealing on Petroleum Products Storage , Manufacturing, Industrial Gas Storage, Ethanol
Manu Chandaria recorded 1.65 billion in 2013 from Comfraft Group of Companies, Steel Manufacturing, Banking, Investments, Real estate
Pradeep Paunrana recorded 87 million in 2013 from Cement Manufacture, Athi River Mining
Baloobhai Patel made the list and earns from Trans-World Safaris, Investments, Insurance, Banking, Telecommunications
Jane Wanjiru Michuki 52+ million in (2014 from Kimani & Michuki Advocates, Investments, Banking