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Norah Mohsen  |  12.10.2011

Top 5 wealthiest Egyptian businessmen in Africa, 2011

Egyptian businessmen are business-oriented enough to be in the top 10 wealthiest people in Africa.
Egyptian businessmen are business-oriented enough to be in the top 10 wealthiest people in Africa. The Forbes 2011 Billionaires List was released in March 2011 included 5 Egyptian businessmen in the world’s billionaires list.

The Egyptian construction industry has an important effect on the country's social and economic growth. The richest families in Egypt started their business in the construction industry as it's one of the fastest growing industries.

The Sawiris family is the wealthiest family in Egypt, running business in different fields; construction, telecom and media. The family business started by Onsi Sawiris the patriarch of the family and was taken over by his three sons Naguib, Samih and Nassef.

Nassef Sawiris, born in 1961, the youngest of the three sons of Onsi Sawiris. He is the owner of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI). Sawiris took over leadership of empire's flagship construction and fertilizer division in 1998. In 2007, sold cement business in Algeria to French construction giant Lafarge. Owns 13.9% stake in Lafarge, and sits on board. Also largest shareholder in cement producer Texas Industries. He came in the 3rd place on the list of Africa’s wealthiest people. Sawiris ranked 127 on the World's Billionaires 2010.

• Age: 50
• Net worth: $5.6 billion.
• Source of wealth: Construction.
• 182 on the Forbes Billionaires list.
• No. 1 in Egypt.

Naguib Sawiris, born in 1954, eldest son of Orascom founder Onsi Sawiris. He was executive chairman of the telecommunications companies Wind Telecom and Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) before turning to politics in May 2011. Orascom Telecom Holding launched the first mobile operator in Egypt, Mobinil in 1998. Sawiris was head of Italy's Wind Telecomunicazioni, Greece's Wind Hellas and Wind Telecom, which provides mobile services across Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Europe and Canada through Orascom Telecom. He came in the 5th place on the list of Africa’s wealthiest people.

• Age: 56
• Net worth: $3.5 billion.
• Source of wealth: Telecom.
• 310 On the Forbes Billionaires list.
• No. 2 in Egypt.

Onsi Sawiris is a self-made billionaire, born in 1930, studied agriculture in college after lawyer father urged him to pursue farming. Found it boring, instead opened a small contracting firm in Upper Egypt. Construction baron forced to rebuild empire after it was nationalized in 1960s. Sawiris came in the 7th place on the list of Africa’s wealthiest people.

• Age: 81
• Net worth: $2.9 billion.
• Source of wealth: Construction.
• 393 on the Forbes Billionaires list.
• No. 3 in Egypt.

The Mansours are the biggest sellers of GM vehicles worldwide, and their Mansour Group has other interests including the largest Metro supermarket chain in Egypt and the country's second largest real estate developer. Mansour group started the partnership with Caterpillar in 1977, then Chevrolet, and tobacco, Marlboro, Merit and LM.

Mohamed Mansour was born in 1948. He is the founder and Chairman of the Mansour Automotive Company, General Motors’ sole distributor in Egypt, Iraq and Libya. He is also the distributor of IBM, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Compaq in Egypt. Mansour also chaired Unatrac. He now chairs the Credit Agricole bank in Egypt. He was the country’s Minister of Transportation from 2005 until 2009, came in the 8th place on the list of Africa’s wealthiest people.

• Age: 63
• Net worth: $2 billion
• Source of wealth: Cotton trading, inherited and growing.
• 595 on the Forbes Billionaires list.
• No. 4 in Egypt.


Yasseen Mansour, born in 1962, he is the youngest brother of Mohamed Mansour. Mansour heads Palm Hills Developments, Egypt's second largest real estate developer. He serves as Operator of the McDonald's franchise in Egypt. Mansour is new on the list and came in the 10th place of Africa’s wealthiest people.

• Age: 49
• Net worth: $1.8 billion.
• Source of wealth: Diversified investments.
• 692 on the Forbes Billionaires list.
• No. 5 in Egypt.

And this is how construction industry can be a start to every businessman who wants to be in the top 5 wealthiest people in Africa or even in the world.
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