Five Kenyan individuals and families control more wealth than millions of Kenyans from across the country.
According to a report published by Oxfam International in January 2022 , Sameer Naushad Merali, who is the son to the late billionaire Naushad Merali, is the richest individual in the country sitting on a fortune of Ksh115.4 billion (USD790 million).
Merali is followed by Bhimji Depar Shah, who founded Bidco Group of Companies, and controls a fortune of Ksh109.5 billion (USD750 million).
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.
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).