New Report Reveals Kenya's 5 Richest People & Their Wealth [LIST]

  • Left to right: President Uhuru Kenyatta, textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi and Bidco founder Bhimji Depar Shah.
    Left to right: President Uhuru Kenyatta, textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi and Bidco founder Bhimji Depar Shah.
    File
  • A new report has listed the five richest people in the country. According to the report, the five - individuals and families - control more wealth than millions of Kenyans from across the country.

    The report by Oxfam International released on Monday, January 17, indicated that Sameer Naushad Merali, who is the son of the late billionaire Naushad Merali, is the richest individual in the country sitting on a fortune of Ksh89.6 billion (USD790 million).

    Merali is followed by Bhimji Depar Shah, who founded Bidco Group of Companies, and controls a fortune of Ksh85 billion (USD750 million).

    The Sameer Group CEO Sameer Merali
    The Sameer Group CEO Sameer Merali.
    Sameer Group

    Other rich people in the top five category in the country are textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi with wealth of Ksh77.1 billion (USD680 million), President Uhuru Kenyatta (and in extension the Kenyatta family) whose wealth stands at Ksh60 billion (USD530 million) and Mahendra Rambhai Patel with Ksh48.7 billion (USD430 million).

    "The two richest people have more wealth than 16.5 million Kenyans.

    "Between 2016 and 2021, the number of individuals with wealth over USD50 million (Ksh56.7 billion) increased from 80 to 120. Their combined wealth increased from USD12.73 billion to USD17.4 billion, an increase of 36.8 per cent, adjusted for inflation," read  the report in part.

    Most of Merali's wealth is from real estate, manufacturing and banking sectors among other money-maker projects.

    Sameer's father still holds a record of making as much as  Ksh1.6 billion in just an hour from his business acumen.

    textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi
    textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi.
    File

    By the year 2000, Merali owned 40 per cent of telecom giant Airtel (then known as KenCell Communications), with French firm Vivendi owning the rest.

    When his business partner decided to call it quits in 2004, Merali convinced his partner Vivendi, who had the majority shares, to sell him their 60 per cent stake for Ksh230 billion. 

    An hour later, Merali sold the 60 per cent stake to billionaire Mo Ibrahim's Celtel with a profit margin of Ksh1.6 billion.

    The Kenyatta family, who have been dominating the rich people list, have investments across diverse markets including banking, manufacturing, processing and telecommunication among others.

    In general, Africa has 19 dollar billionaires with none coming from Kenya. The wealthiest person in Africa is Aliko Dangote with a wealth of Ksh1.5 trillion (USD $13.5 billion).

    File photo of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Sameer Africa founder Naushad Merali
    File photo of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Sameer Africa founder Naushad Merali
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