Kenya is among the biggest economies on the African continent. It also ranks among the fastest-growing economies in the world. This has led to a lot of wealth being made both by individuals and families. So, who is the richest man in Kenya?
The richest man in Kenya is Daniel Arap Moi according to the criteria on many rating lists. On this list are ten of the richest Kenyans as rated by firms like Forbes and others. Their wealth levels are based on their net worth which is the value of their assets minus their debts and other liabilities.
Top 10 Richest Kenyans
This list includes both men and women and their families and explains the origin of their wealth and how much they’re worth at the moment.
The list is as follows:
1. Daniel Moi
The former president and his family’s wealth is estimated at $3 billion and above. This wealth is spread in almost all sectors of the Kenyan economy and the neighboring countries. The Moi family also has property in London and South Africa.
Among the property owned by the Moi family include Equatorial Bank, Car Track Kenya Ltd, Signon Freight, Sielei Properties, Metipso Services Ltd, Sudbury Ltd, and many others. The family also owns thousands of acres of land across the country. Since Daniel Moi became the president of Kenya, the wealth of his family grew by large strides to what it is today.
2. Manu Chandaria
Second on the list of the most monied Kenyans is the chairman of Comcraft Group, Manu Chandaria (Manilal Premchand Chandaria). This family’s wealth is traced back to a small store in Nairobi built in 1916 by Manu Chandaria’s father, Premchandbhai Chandaria. That store would grow to become Kaluworks, then Comcraft.
The current chairman, Manu Chandaria, took over the leadership of Comcraft in 1951. He would grow the brand into one of the largest manufacturing behemoths in Kenya and beyond. At the moment, Comcraft has a presence in more than 45 countries where it manufactures aluminum and steel products.
The family is worth at least $1.7 billion as of this writing. While it’s known for its steel and aluminum products, the Chandaria family has interests in a lot of industries in Kenya and beyond.
3. Uhuru Kenyatta
The family of the late Jomo Kenyatta is among the richest in Kenya and the surrounding countries. While the family is famous for being in possession of large tracts of land, it has interests in many other sectors of the East African economy as a whole. These include banking, tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, real estate, energy and many others.
The Commercial Bank of Africa is largely owned by this family and so is Brookside and its long list of dairy products. The family also has businesses and properties in Britain, the USA, Germany and France.
Its wealth is estimated at at least $1.3 billion and rising fast. It’s currently under the leadership of Kenya’s president and son of Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru Kenyatta.
4. Nicholas Biwott
Before his death in 2017, Nicholas Biwott made a name for himself as the most secretive public figure in Kenya. Having been a close confidant of Daniel Moi all through the latter’s reign as the president of Kenya, Biwott accumulated a lot of wealth for himself and his family. Owing to his secrecy, however, few know that his wealth is in excess of $1.1 billion.
The family has interests in all parts of the economy among them tourism, transport, agriculture, energy, mining and others. He’s most known for being the major importer of oil and gas products into the country. He then sells the products to distributors.
He also has property in Israel, Australia and other countries around the world. These include hotels, ranches, and energy production and distribution facilities.
5. Mama Ngina Kenyatta
While the larger Kenyatta family has already made the list, the founding father’s wife has so much in her name that she makes the top five on her own.
She’s arguably the richest lady in East Africa having acquired most of her wealth right after Kenya got independence from Britain. Most of her wealth is in the form of land in prime areas such as the major cities of the country running into thousands of acres. She also owns shares in major companies in various sectors among them energy production and distribution firms, dairy firms and many others.
Her wealth is estimated to be more than $1 billion and growing. She leads a very secretive life yet has always appeared on the lists of the wealthiest Kenyans for a while now.
6. Vimal Shah
At one time, Vimal Shah was rated by Forbes to be the richest Kenyan. The basis was on those who’ve generated their own wealth without political power and such influences.
Even without that basis of rating wealth, Vimal Shah is the chief executive of BIDCO, one of the largest business conglomerates in East and Central Africa. BIDCO manufactures cooking oils and other household products and has a tight grip on the East African consumer goods market. Recently, the firm opened a $200 business park in Thika town.
Shah’s wealth is more than $1 billion and has grown tremendously over the last few years owing to the rapid growth of BIDCO and the businesses it owns.
7. Bhimji Depar Shah
Bhimji Depar Shah is the father to Vimal Shah and is the founder and chairman of the BIDCO group of companies.
Shah founded BIDCO Industries Limited in 1970 after starting off with a petrol station. From that moment, Shah and his family would build the brand into the business giant it is today. With a presence in more than 13 countries in Africa, BIDCO has immensely built up the wealth of its owners.
Bhimji has a net worth in excess of $700 million and is rightfully recognized as an African entrepreneur as he’s seen his investments turn into one of the largest African firms.
With BIDCO heavily invested in products and services customers can’t live without, the Shahs are destined to see their wealth grow tremendously into the future.
8. Naushad Merali
Naushad Merali is a well-known name in the African business circles for his shrewd decisions. As the chairman of Sameer Group, Merali has overseen the transformation of the conglomerate into one of the biggest names in Africa and beyond.
Sameer Group has interests in construction, agriculture, finance, real estate, transport and others. Among its most known brands include Daima dairy products and Yana tires.
Merali was also a founder of the mobile network Kencell (present-day Airtel) which he’s famed for having made millions from the sale of his stake in the firm as it transitioned to Celtel.
Presently, his wealth is estimated to be in excess of $500 million.
9. Chris Kirubi
Chris Kirubi knows how to get money and have fun. He’s revered among his business associates for his shrewdness and loved by his fans who fondly refer to him as DJ CK.
While he’s largely known for his ownership positions in Capital FM and Haco Tiger Industries, Chris Kirubi owns a long list of prime properties in Nairobi city and beyond.
Among his properties are Capital FM, Haco Tiger Industries, Centum Investment Group, International House Limited, Kiruma International Limited, UAP Insurance Kenya, Sandvik East Africa and many others. In these firms, he’s either the sole owner or the majority shareholder.
His wealth is in excess of $300 million and growing by the day. At the moment, his wealth is benefiting heavily from the investments made through Centum including the Two Rivers Mall, the largest in East and Central Africa.
10. Atul Shah
Closing out the list of 10 of the richest Kenyans is Atul Shah, the managing director of the Nakumatt chain stores. Mr. Shah isn’t related to the Shahs of the BIDCO line of business. His business is involved in the retail sector of the economy.
Nakumatt has a reach in all the major towns and cities of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Although the chain store was faced with some issues in the recent past, rejuvenation efforts are underway to revive the operations in all the stores.
As the managing director, Atul Shah has built a large pool of wealth for himself and his family with his net worth being estimated to be more than $290 million.
Besides the top 10 names mentioned here, other names worthy of recalling are Peter Kahara Munga (Equity Bank Group), Raila Odinga (politics and business), James Mwangi (Equity Bank Group), S. K. Macharia (Royal Media Services), Bharat Thakrar (Scan Group), Mwai Kibaki (former president), and many others. These individuals have amassed a lot of wealth from different sources.
Firms that rate the net worth of individuals such as Forbes focus on the most conservative estimates of their wealth and it can thus be assumed that the figures given here are the lowest these individuals’ wealth can go at the time of writing.