Nairobi accounted for 75.8 per cent of Kenya’s billionaires, reflecting the county’s economic dominance over the other 46 devolved units created eight years ago to address the wealth imbalance, a new wealth report shows.
About 250 of 330 Kenyans with a net worth of at least $10 million (Sh1.08 billion) reside in the capital city, according to an annual study of the fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest people by Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank.
The heavy concentration of billionaires in Nairobi indicates inequality in the country’s economic development, partly attributed to the previous centralised system of government which guided sharing of resources since independence.
The devolved system of government raised hopes of addressing the economic imbalance, but analysts say there is a need to offer incentives to attract private investors to the other counties.
Overall, 26 Kenyans dropped out of the ultra-rich list in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted businesses and hammered most asset classes across Africa.
Their ranks of billionaires shrank from 356 in 2019 and 370 in 2017, signalling that effects of Covid-19 helped to accelerate the drop of those with net assets of at least Sh1.08 billion.
Africa’s rich have suffered the most from the economic impact of the pandemic, with AfrAsia Bank saying the share of super-rich persons in the continent dropped by nine percent last year.
The shifts emerged in a year of hard economic times in the country in the wake of Covid-19, which resulted in a drop in corporate profits, and triggered job cuts and dividends freeze in firms owned by the wealthy.
The pandemic last year also saw the bear run on the Nairobi Securities Exchange intensify and lowered property prices and valuation of private companies as lockdowns and other restrictions eroded revenues.
In Nairobi, the number of billionaires shrank by 10, accounting for 38 per cent of the persons whose net assets fell below $10 million.
Nairobi’s contribution to the GDP stands at 21.7 percent, according to a past study by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on economic performance of the 47 counties.This is followed by Nakuru (6.1 percent), Kiambu (5.5 percent), Mombasa (4.7 percent) and Machakos (3.2 percent).Kenya was ranked fourth among countries with the highest concentration of billionaires in Africa.The Africa Wealth report for 2020 ranked South Africa top with 1,930 billionaires followed by Egypt (810) and Nigeria (460).Nairobi is placed sixth in the cities’ ranking.The study describes wealth as the net assets of a person that includes […]