“People like to know what people in power are doing and the 29 billionaires on this continent are the people in power,” Forbes Africa magazine editor, Chris Bishop told CNBCafrica.com.
The latest Forbes Billionaires list ranks the most powerful people in the world.
From a record 1,826 billionaires in the world on the 2015 list, Africa boasts 29, the same number as in 2014.
(READ MORE: The Forbes Billionaires list – 2015)
“They’re the ones who are making decisions, who are investing, who are employing hundreds of thousands of people, who are controlling a large part of the resources and commodities on this continent – I think everyone wants to know who they are and exactly what they’re doing.”
Some of the African names on the list include the likes of Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote – the richest man on the continent – South Africa’s Christoffel Wiese, Issad Rebrab of Algeria and newcomer Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania.
Nigeria’s Femi Otedola makes it back onto the list while fellow countrywomen, Folorunsho Alakija and Isabel dos Santos of Angola make up the only two African females on the list.
“Mohammed Dewji is quite a big story. The guy is just 39 years old – he’s taken the family business, with its manufacturing and commodities and taken it to another level and [made it] onto the billionaires list,” Bishop said.
“People sometimes criticise these lists [but] no matter what people say, everyone wants to read these lists. That just shows the power of the list – how it can cut through the criticisms and adversity, and actually capture the public’s imagination.”
He further stated that these types of lists are going to become even more relevant as the African continent grows.
(WATCH VIDEO: Africa retains 29 spots on Forbes rich list)
“The most exciting thing for Africa is the fact that 20 years ago, something like this wouldn’t have happened. Now, you’re getting this idea of people across the continent who are doing business successfully,” added Bishop.
“A lot of young people see it as aspirational – [they] see people that they can aspire to and stories they can aspire to. At long last, business on the continent is celebrating itself as opposed to just being regarded as not in the Northern Hemisphere and off the beaten track.”