Just because the economy is in a dip in Uganda, the kasana is blazing and we are terribly getting more broke doesn’t mean it’s true when people tell you it is the same everywhere.
There are people who have been termed as the richest people in the world, they are so rich that Oxfam did a research study showing that the estimated wealth of just 8 of the top 10 billionaires of the world, covers the little wealth of all the people on the planet combined.
Guess what? They are all men and most of them got filthy rich through investing in technology. Most are American, with one European and one Mexican and some of them have said they will give all their money to charity when they die.
1. Bill Gates Shs.274.7Tn ($76Bn)
Bill Gates, full name William Gates III, is an American who got very popular after he founded Microsoft in the 1970’s, he grew it into the largest software company in the world that is now a household name.
Almost every affordable computer today has Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. He resigned as CEO in the year 2000 and decided to concentrate on his charity organisation “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” which has funded some activities even in Uganda such as Fly (formerly Ambition Mission).
Bill Gates has topped the list 17 of the past 22 years. He also has a lot of investment in a firm called Berkshire Hallaway with Warren Buffet and frequents Davos, a posh place and hotel in Switzerland.
2. Amancio Ortega Shs.242.2Tn ($67Bn)
You probably hadn’t heard of this guy, he is the richest person in Europe and opened the first Zara fashion shop in 1975 which is now a chain that has 7,000 shops worldwide and is part of Ortega’s Inditex group. It became very popular because he tried to have a lower cost model that competes with the likes of H&M. As Zara and Inditex grew.
Ortega, is an 80 year old Spaniard (from Spain) who held on to the largest stake of 59% in the company, which has a market value of over Shs.368.7 trillion (97 billion euros/$102 billion). He dropped out of school at only 14 years because his father couldn’t afford to pay and learned to make clothes and bathrobes by hand.
3. Warren Buffet Shs.219.8Tn ($60.8Bn)
Warren Buffet is an 86 year old American investor who has been the third richest man in the world for the second time in a row now. It is said he began investing at a very young age in the 1940’s during his early teens and bought shares in Cities Service, sold newspapers, CocaCola bottles and even bought land from his father at $1,200 (Shs.4.3m). By the time he finished college he had more than $90,000 (Shs.325m) which was a lot in 2009 dollar valuations.
He slowly grew his firm, Berkshire Hathaway and he is usually called “The Oracle of Omaha” because his every investment decisions are followed by thousands. He loves investing in companies with proven business models over new industries, such as in technology. He said he will give away 99% of his wealth to charity. Since 2006, he’s been donating blocks of Berkshire stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
4. Carlos Slim Helu Shs.180.8Tn ($50Bn)
Carlos Slim Helu is a 76 year old Mexican tycoon who became rich when his company Grupo Carso invested in several holdings while Mexico privatised many of its national companies.
On 31 July, 2016 he made number 7 on Forbes list of billionaires, with a net worth estimated at $50 billion (Shs.180.8 trillion). He owes his fortune to a major ownership in America Movil, a telecommunications multinational worth $42 billion (Shs.152 trillion). He personally owns about 7% in the company while his broader family retains a 37% stake.
He was ranked as the richest person three years ago, but declined due to a downturn in Latin American economies. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s threats to scrap free trade deals and build a wall on the U.S – Mexico border have also hurt shares in his business interests. Forbes estimates his net worth dropped $5 billion (Shs.18.1 trillion) in the 4 days after Trump’s election.
5. Jeff Bezos Shs.163.4Tn ($45.2Bn)
Jeff is a 53 year old American, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com which helped change the retail industry by popularising online shopping.
Amazon started as an online book shop but now sells almost everything. Jeff Bezos has gone beyond Amazon,and now he’s investing in other industries. He bought the Washington Post and set up an aerospace company called Blue Origin, that aims to make space accessible to tourists and paying customers similar to SpaceX.
6. Mark Zuckerberg Shs.161Tn ($44.5Bn)
Mark a 32 year old American billionaire founded Facebook in 2004 while still in college to connect other Harvard students. Despite being sued for cheating out his best friend and co-founder and stealing the Facebook idea from the Winklevoss twins, the company went on to become popular globally and listed its shares publicly in 2012, making Zuckerberg a multibillionaire.
He’s managed to make Facebook profitable where rivals like Twitter have lagged, and expanded it with targeted acquisitions. He and his wife have pledged to sell 99% of their holdings in Facebook (over 400 million shares worth about $50 billion – Shs.180.8 trillion) to support charity.
7. Larry Ellison Shs.157.6Tn ($43.6Bn)
He is a 72 year old American who founded Oracle, Ellison and associates used that name for their company in 1977 after a project by the same name with their first big client, the CIA. He started as a young programmer in the 70’s for Ampex in California. Oracle creates software that helps manage databases and has since become an industry standard.
Ellison of late focuses more on cloud computing, in which data is stored and managed across a network of computers. His fortune comes from his 27% stake in Oracle, a company worth $160 billion (Shs.578.4 trillion). He owns stakes in Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Quark Biotechnology Inc. and Astex Pharmaceuticals. He has donated up to 1% of his wealth to charity and has signed The Giving Pledge. In addition to his work at Oracle, Ellison has had success in yachting, through Oracle Team USA.
He is a licensed aircraft pilot and owns two military jets. He also acted as himself in Iron Man 2.
8. Michael Bloomberg Shs.144.6Tn ($40Bn)
Michael Bloomberg is most popularly known as the former Mayor of New York City for three terms since 2001. He is the founder, CEO, and owner (reportedly 88%) of Bloomberg Private Limited company, a global financial services, mass media, and software company since 1981, that sells data terminals like the Bloomberg Terminal which provides financial data widely used in the global financial services and news industry.
He stood for mayor as a Democrat, later as a Republican just before the September 11 terrorist attacks. When he won a second term in 2005, he left the Republican Party two years later. He also campaigned to change the city’s term limits law, and was elected to his third term in 2009 as an Independent candidate on the Republican ballot line.
9. Charles Koch Shs. 143.2Tn ($39.6Bn)
Charles is an 80 years old American co-owner, chairman of the board, and CEO of Koch Industries. Charles and David (his brother) each own 42% of the conglomerate. The brothers inherited the business from their father, Fred C. Koch, then expanded the originally exclusively oil refining and chemical company. Koch Industries now includes process and pollution control equipment and technologies; polymers and fibers; minerals; fertilizers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching.
The businesses produce a wide variety of well-known brands, such as Stainmaster carpet, the Lycra brand of spandex fiber, Quilted Northern tissue and Dixie Cup. Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the United States according to a 2010 Forbes survey. In February 2014, Charles Koch was ranked 9th richest person in the world by Hurun Report with an estimated net worth of $36 billion (Shs.130.1 trillion).
Previously, in October 2012 he was ranked the 6th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $34 billion (Shs.123 trillion) according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and was ranked 18th on Forbes World’s Billionaires list of 2011 (and 4th on the Forbes 400), with an estimated net worth of $25 billion (Shs.90.1 trillion), deriving from his 42% stake in Koch Industries.
Koch supports a number of free market-oriented educational organisations, contributes to the Republican Party and candidates, libertarian groups, and various charitable and cultural institutions. The Koch family has also funded artistic projects and creative artists.
10. David Koch Shs.143.2Tn ($39.6Bn)
David Hamilton Koch is a 76 year old an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He joined the family business Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the United States, in 1970.
He became president of the subsidiary Koch Engineering in 1979, and became a co-owner of Koch Industries, with the older brother Charles Koch, in 1983. He is now an executive vice president. David Koch is an influential libertarian. He was the 1980 candidate for Vice President of the United States from the United States Libertarian Party and helped finance the campaign. He and his brother Charles have donated to political advocacy groups and to political campaigns, almost entirely Republican.
He has been described as “one of the most generous but low-key philanthropists in America” and has contributed to several charities. He is the fourth richest person in America as of 2012, and the wealthiest resident of New York City as of 2013. He is the 9th wealthiest person in the world, as of 2014 and a survivor of the US Air Flight 1493 crash in 1991.
The world’s billionaires’ list has always been published annually in March since 1987. In 2015, there were 1,826 people on the list that included and 290 newcomers with 71 from China, 57 from the US, 28 from India and 23 from Germany. 46 people under 40 years of age and 197 women were on the list. The average net worth of the listed came in at US$3.86 billion (Shs.14 trillion), down US$60 million (Shs.217 billion) from 2014. Added together, the total net worth for 2015’s billionaires was US$7.1 trillion (Shs.25.3 quadrillion), up from US$6.4 trillion(Shs.23.1 quadrillion) in 2014.
Lawrence writes about tech, lifestyle, politics, business, crypto and occasionally entertainment. He writes for Spur Magazine and Newslibre while consulting with numerous international companies on strategy, community management and marketing.
He has contributed to the journalism, open source, film, youth, web, Andela and Mozilla communities.