Africa has the fastest growing high net worth (HNW) individual market in the entire world; this is according to the New World Wealth Africa Wealth Report for 2015.
According to the report, the number of African individuals classified as HNW has increased by 145 per cent over the past 14 years, compared to worldwide HNW growth of 73 per cent over the same period.
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The number of new millionaires in Africa is steadily growing, with more than 160 000 individuals holding around 660 billion US dollars in personal wealth at the end of 2014.
According to the report, South Africa has the highest number of wealthy individuals on the continent with the number of dollar millionaires in this country rising by nine per cent since 2007.
Luke Martins, a financial planner at Old Mutual Private Wealth Management said the continued growth in numbers of high net worth individuals in South Africa can be attributed to the country’s continued position as a business and investment gateway into Africa, its appeal as a global investment destination, and its robust physical and financial infrastructure.
“While these factors alone obviously don’t automatically translate into wealthy individuals, they do mean that South Africans with the will, and means, to grow their personal wealth have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, significant opportunities to do so.”
Lesego Monareng, also of Old Mutual Private Wealth Management said South Africa’s BEE policies over the past 20 years had also added to the wealth growth in the country.
“In South Africa, the political will to drive economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged persons has been a major contributor to wealth creation for many. It has both built the middle market as a feeder into individual wealth achievement and allowed many individuals to position themselves to take advantage of the resulting opportunities.”
The analysts add that, education opportunities, entrepreneurial spirit, and a willingness to take calculated risks were some of the key characteristics shared by the country’s independently wealthy.