For a long time, the list of the richest people in Kenya has been dominated by politicians and people who have served in government. However, in the recent past, Kenyans in business continue to dominate the list.
According to the wealth report published by Knight Frank in 2019, Kenya had 8,400 millionaires in 2013. This number rose to 9,482 in 2018 representing a 13% increase. The report also predicts that this figure will increase by 22% come 2023 to reach 11,584 millionaires.
The number of billionaires increased from 10 in 2013 and to 125 in 2018. Knight Frank forecasts that by 2023, Kenya will see the highest increase of 24% in the number of billionaires in Africa. This number is expected to hit roughly 155 in 2023.
So, who are the 20 wealthiest individuals in Kenya? How much are they worth and where do they get their wealth?
1. The Late Daniel Moi & Family
Net Worth: $3 B
Source of wealth: Diversified, Self-Made
Age: 95 (1924 – 2020)
Daniel Moi is a former politician who served as the second president of Kenya. He’s also an entrepreneur, investor, and businessman.
His family has interests in many industries such as:
- maritime and freight
- airline and transport
- hotel & tourism
- The oil industry
- real estate
His family owns large tracks of land around the country.
The Moi family owns The Standard Group Plc, a multi-media company with investments in various media platforms. Standard Group includes the Standard newspaper, KTN Tv, Radio Maisha, The Nairobian, Think Outdoor (billboard advertising) and Standard Digital.
Other businesses owned by Moi’s family include:
- Kabarak University
- Giant Holdings
- Homestead Enterprises
- Eagles Airlines
- American Bank
- Safariland Club
- Mugoya Construction
- Equatorial Bank among others.
2. Manu Chandaria
Net Worth: $1.7B
Source of Wealth: Comcraft Group, Self-Made
His titles: O.B.E (Order of the British Empire), C.B.S (Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear), and E.B.S (Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear).
Manu Chandaria is a Kenyan businessman, industrialist, and philanthropist of Indian descent. He was born and raised in Kenya. He’s the Chairman and CEO of Comcraft Kenya Ltd which manufactures aluminum and steel products as well as plastics.
The company, which is based in Nairobi, was founded by his father in 1915. It also has operations in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Comcraft generates annual revenues of more than 200 billion.
Chandaria is also the chairman of the Bank of India Advisory Committee in Nairobi. He also has a stake in the United States International University (USIU).
3. The Late Nicholas Biwott
Net Worth: $1.1 B
Sources of Wealth: Diversified, Politics, Self-Made
Age: 77 (1940 – 2017)
Nicholas Biwott who passed on in 2017 was a Kenyan politician and businessman. He was a successful entrepreneur which made him one of the wealthiest Kenyans over the years.
Biwott ventured into business as a teenager in the late 1950s. His first business was selling fruits and vegetables in Eldoret.
Biwott owned Yaya Center (a shopping mall in Nairobi) and was a shareholder in Kenol-Kobil which operates petrol stations across Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.
Nicholas Biwott also owned other companies including:
- AirKenya Express – an airline based in Nairobi
- Kipsinende Farm
- HZ Construction and Engineering
- Lima Kenya
- Rono Ltd among others.
4. Mama Ngina Kenyatta
Net worth: $1 B
Source of Wealth: Diversified, Brookside, Inherited
Mama Ngina as she’s popularly known is the widow to Jomo Kenyatta, the 1st president of Kenya. She’s also the mother to Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mama Ngina is among the richest people in Kenya. Her massive wealth originates from stakes in the business empire owned by the Kenyatta family.
The family is one of the biggest landowners in the country with huge pieces of land in Nairobi, Thika, Taita Taveta, Nakuru, Naivasha among other places.
Kenyatta’s family also has interests in industries such as banking, tourism, education, telecommunications, dairy.
The family’s giant dairy company, Brookside has acquired several rival dairy firms including Buzeki Dairy in 2013 for 1.1 billion. Other acquisitions include Ilara, Delamere, SpinKnit, Molo Milk and Kilifi dairy brands.
5. Bhimji Depar Shah
Net Worth: $900 M
Source of Wealth: Bidco, Self-Made
The 5th richest individual in Kenya is Bhimji Depar Shah. He is a businessman, entrepreneur, and industrialist. He’s the founder and chairman of Bidco Africa, a family-owned leading manufacturer of consumer goods in East Africa.
Bidco produces edible oils, fats, soaps and detergents, animal feeds, margarine, food, and beverages. It is based in Thika and also has operations in Central and Southern Africa. The company has manufacturing factories in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Bidco has over 40 brands employing more than 25,000 employees.
6. Naushad Merali
Net Worth: $600 M
Source of Wealth: Sameer Group, Self-Made
Naushad Merali is the Executive Chairman of the Sameer Group, a business conglomerate based in Nairobi. It comprises 15 companies and has operations in Kenya and the rest of Africa. Sameer Group is involved in the manufacturing, agriculture, construction, finance, and transport industries.
Some of the subsidiaries of Sameer Group include
- Sasini Tea and Coffee
- Sameer Africa Limited (manufacture of tires)
- Kenya Data Networks Limited (Information Technology firm)
- Savanna Coffee Lounge
- Equatorial Commercial Bank
Merali is a shareholder in the Commercial Bank of Africa. He also owns a 5% stake in the Airtel network.
7. Uhuru Kenyatta
Net Worth: $500 M
Source of Wealth: Diversified, inherited
Uhuru Kenyatta is the 4th and current president of Kenya. Son to Kenya’s 1st president Jomo Kenyatta, he’s also a successful businessman and one of the richest people in Kenya.
Most of Uhuru’s wealth can be attributed to the business empire owned and controlled by the Kenyatta family. The family owns the following companies:
- 24.92% stake in Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).
- 13.2% stake in NIC bank
- Brookside dairy which has expanded to Rwanda and Uganda
- Chartis insurance
- Heritage hotels
- Enke holdings
- Peponi schools
- Mediamax Group (K24, the people Newspaper, Kameme Fm, Meru Fm, Milele Fm)
- Timsales Holdings, a timber processing company.
8. Chris Kirubi
Net Worth: $420 M
Source of Wealth: Real estate, Self-Made
Kirubi is a successful business magnate, industrialist, and philanthropist. He is a Director and the largest individual shareholder (with a 28.94% stake) at Centum Investments.
Centum is an investment firm based in Kenya that has ownership in companies such as Sidian bank, Nairobi Bottlers, Almasi Beverages limited, Isuzu East Africa, Longhorn publishers among others.
Centum Investments owns Two Rivers Mall, the largest mall in East and Central Africa. In February 2019, Two rivers launched the tallest Ferris wheel in Africa.
Chris Kirubi owns Capital FM and Haco Industries Limited, a manufacturer of household goods. He also has stakes in Kenya Commercial Bank Group and the Nation Media Group.
9. Peter Kahara Munga
Net Worth: $280 M
Source of Wealth: Equity Bank, Self-Made
Peter Munga is the founder and chairman of Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL), a financial services holding firm based in Nairobi.
The company owns Equity Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Kenya. The Group also has operations in Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and DRC.
It has a total of over 13 million customers and generates annual revenues in excess of KSh19.5 billion. EGHL also controls assets worth an estimated KSh530 billion. It employs over 10,000 employees.
10. Raila Odinga
Net Worth: $250 M
Source of Wealth: Politics, manufacturing, industrial gas storage, Self-Made
Raila Odinga is a politician and a successful entrepreneur making him one of the wealthiest people in Kenya. In October 2018, he was appointed an African Union Envoy.
The former prime minister owns companies such as the East Africa Spectre Ltd. It’s a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Cylinder manufacturer & revalidating company. It is based in Nairobi’s Industrial Area.
He owns Spectre International Limited, a supplier of molasses based in Kisumu. Odinga has stakes in the Pan African Petroleum Company which deals with the importation and distribution of petroleum products in Kenya.
Raila Odinga also owns 2 private choppers and residential homes in Karen, Runda, Kisumu, and Mombasa.
11. James Mwangi
Net Worth: $170 M
Source of Wealth: Equity Bank, Self-Made
Born in Kangema, Muranga county, James Mwangi is an accountant, career banker, entrepreneur, and businessman. He’s the current managing director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL).
James is among the major individual shareholders of EGHL with a 5.52% stake. He also owns shares at British American Insurance Company Limited (Britam).
He is the Chancellor of Meru University and the chairman of Kenya Vision 2030.
12. S.K Macharia
Net Worth: $165 M
Source of Wealth: Royal Media Services, Self-Made
S.K Macharia is the founder, owner, and chairman of Royal Media Services (RMS). He’s considered one of the wealthiest people in Kenya.
RMS is the largest private television and radio network in Kenya and in East Africa. Some of its famous brands include Citizen TV, Inooro TV, Radio Citizen, Hot 96 among others.
According to research done by Ipsos, Citizen TV has the biggest share of the Kenyan audience at 62.5%. RMS radio stations have a total audience of 80% while Radio Citizen alone has an audience of 43% of the population in Kenya.
13. Baloobhai Patel
Net Worth: $150 M
Source of Wealth: Transworld Safaris, Self-Made
He’s a Kenyan entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist. Patel is the owner, managing director and CEO of Transworld Safaris Limited.
It’s one of the oldest safari firms in Kenya and Africa. The company owns and operates a large fleet of custom-built safari minibusses, hot air balloons, and four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Patel is a non-executive director at Pan Africa Insurance. He also has stakes in Bamburi Cement, Diamond trust Bank Group, Safaricom, Barclay’s bank of Kenya and Carbacid investments. His shares in publicly listed Kenyan companies are worth over $45 million.
Also Read: The Richest People in Africa
14. Titus Naikuni
Net Worth: $100 M
Source of Wealth: Corporate Sector, Self-Made
Titus Naikuni is a Kenyan mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, and business executive. He’s the chairman of the board of Rift Valley Railways Consortium and Airtel Kenya. He’s a former managing director and CEO of Kenya Airways.
He has served as a board member in several companies including Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Brunner Mond (South Africa), Tata Chemicals Magadi, and Prudential Life Assurance Kenya.
15. Mwai Kibaki & Family
Net Worth: $60 M
Source of Wealth: Politics, Self-Made
Mwai Kibaki was the 3rd Kenyan president and is one of the richest people in Kenya. He’s one of the biggest landowners possessing thousands of acres of land around the country. He has about 10,000 acres of land in each of the following places; Bahati, Nanyuki, Laikipia, and Rumuruti.
Kibaki also has shares in UAP insurance, Jacaranda Hotel, CFC Bank, CMC Holdings Group of companies, Unga Group Ltd, Toyota Kenya, Express Kenya Ltd, Royal insurance, Windsor Golf, and Country Club among others. The list is endless.
Mwai Kibaki wholly owns the famous Farmer’s Choice and Deacons K Ltd.
16. William Ruto
Net Worth: $50 M
Source of Wealth: Politics, Self-Made
William Ruto is a Kenyan politician, a successful hustler, and businessman. He’s one of the self-made multi-millionaires in Kenya. Below is a list of companies and properties owned by the DP:
- Sentrim 680 Hotel located in the Nairobi CBD which is worth an estimated 3 billion
- Weston Hotel worth an estimated 2 billion
- 60% stake in MediaMax (previously owned by Kenyatta family)
- Amaco Insurance
- Osere flats in Ongata Rongai
- Oerter Enterprises Ltd
- 1 billion residential home in Uasin Gishu
- 1 billion chopper
William Ruto is one of the richest people in Kenya.
17. Jimnah Mbaru
Net Worth: $48 M
Source of Wealth: Investment Banking, Self-Made
He’s the owner and chairman of Dyer and Blair Investment Bank which he acquired from KCB in 1983. The bank is a leading investment firm in Kenya with branches in Uganda and Rwanda. It has over $300 million in assets under management.
Jimnah Mbaru together with Peter Munga, James Mwangi, and Benson Wairegi own a combined 39.2 % stake of Britam. He also has stakes in Equity Bank and Transcentury Group among others.
Also Read: The 10 Youngest Billionaires in the World
18. Adil Popat
Net Worth: $40 M
Source of Wealth: Car dealerships, Hotels, Inherited
Adil Popat is the Group Executive Chairman of Simba Corporation. Simba has interests in motor sales and service, hospitality, investment, and financial services.
Simba Corporation has grown from a modest used-car sales enterprise, founded in 1948 by Mr. Abdul Karim Popat, into one of Kenya’s most successful indigenous commercial organizations with a rich heritage in motor vehicle sales and service.
Simba is the sole authorized dealer of the Fuso, Mahindra, Renault and Mitsubishi car brands. The Group also owns the famous Villa Rosa Kempinski (Nairobi) and Olare Mara Kempinski (Masai Mara) hotels.
19. Pius Ngugi
Net Worth: $35 M
Source of Wealth: Food Processing, Self-Made
Pius Ngugi is a business mogul and one of the richest people in Kenya. He is the owner of the Kenya Nut Company which he founded in 1974. The company is the main exporter of macadamia nuts from Kenya and has over 2500 employees. In 2016 it recorded $60 million in revenue.
Ngugi owns Thika Coffee Mills, a major private coffee miller in the country. He’s also a shareholder in the Tatu City development project and in Kenya Alliance Insurance.
He also has other interests including dairy farming, Amazon Motors, manufacture of sweets and winery.
20. Kiprop Bundotich (Buzeki)
Net Worth: $30 M
Source of Wealth: Milk dairy, Transport, Self-Made
Kiprop is the founder and Group Executive Director of Buzeki Group of Companies. He also founded the Buzeki Dairy Limited in 2008 which made the Tuzo and Molo milk brands. In 2013, Bundotich sold his Buzeki Dairy business to Brookside Diaries for KSh1.5 billion.
Buzeki Group is a registered company in the transport and logistics industry. The group has the following list of companies:
- Buzeki Enterprises Limited – Transport solutions provider
- Bunoil Limited – Fuel and Oil dealership
- Transtruckers Logistics Group Limited – Involved in Cement distribution
- Buzeki Insurance Limited – In-House Insurance Agency
- Buzeki Fleet Management Limited – Fleet Tracking service provider
- Koima Motors Limited – Sale of Heavy commercial vehicles & Spare parts
There you have it, folks, you now know the 20 richest people in Kenya. Share this article with your friends and also feel free to drop a comment below.