The most reliable way to build wealth in Africa is through entrepreneurship, survey finds

Of the five countries surveyed, respondents from Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya were most likely to cite entrepreneurship as a key driver of wealth creation. According to the survey, 148 out of 265 entrepreneurs said they made their first million dollars and continue to earn more from entrepreneurship.

However, respondents from South Africa and Mauritius are more likely to opt for a traditional corporate career in a bid to achieve financial freedom. This can be attributed to the more developed financial systems of the two countries.

Most of the entrepreneurs who participated in the survey have businesses in the real estate, construction, trade, financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas, technology, and retail sectors. The high-net-worth individuals who participated in the survey were between the ages of 36 to 50 years.

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Group Head, Standard Bank Wealth and Investment, Chris Browne, said, “to draw a more complete picture of the wealth sector in Africa, a total of 265 respondents were surveyed and 75 face-to-face interviews were conducted in five key markets – Ghana , Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, and South Africa — with 67% of participants estimated net worth in the $1 million to $5 million range. About 16% of respondents had an estimated net worth of $5 million to $20 million. At the same time, researchers from our partners, Intellidex, also canvassed those with a net worth of $20 million to over $100 million.”

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On the topic of wealth preservation, respondents from Kenya (38%), followed by Mauritius (29%), Ghana (26%), and Nigeria (23%), cited tangible assets as the most desired asset class for wealth preservation.

In South Africa, the wealthy (51%) prefer to keep their wealth in stocks or equities. However, tangible assets such as property are relatively insignificant (18%).

The survey also highlighted political instability and personal security as the main concerns of the wealthy

According to the survey, “The wealthy in most markets surveyed see the political environment as a major risk to maintaining wealth. 82% of South Africans say this is a concern, followed by Ghanaians (67%) , Nigerians (64%), and Kenyans (55%). On the other hand, only 31% of Mauritian respondents saw the political environment as a threat.”

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“It is very difficult to make informed investment decisions if one knows the long-term visibility of the policy environment. They remember that the volatile political climate can significantly affect the value of assets,” it added.

The survey concluded that the characteristics of wealthy Africans are entrepreneurialism, eclecticism, conservative attitude towards spending wealth, workaholism, and strength in diversification.

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