The Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has been ranked as the 4th richest person in the country.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa | Photo Courtesy

The latest report states that two Kenyans have a net worth greater than the wealth of 16.5 million Kenya citizens combined, highlighting the massive gap in fortunes between the country’s haves and the have-nots.

Naushad Merali was the chairman of Sameer Group / Photo Courtesy

A global charity organization, Oxfam International, that fights inequality among people. Listed Sameer Naushad Merali and Bhimji Depar Shah as Kenya’s richest people with wealth worth a whooping $790 million (Which is equivalent to Sh89.6 billion) and $750 million (Which is equivalent to Sh85 billion) respectively, with the industrialist families dominating the ranking of wealthy Kenyans on the list of the richest people. The richest person in Kenya, Who is Mr Sameer Merali is the heir to the late businessman Naushad Merali, who passed away in July 2021. The late Merali had built his wealth from investing in diverse projects and investments including real estate, manufacturing, banking, agriculture and telecommunications.

File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Bhimji Depar Shah | Courtesy | Twitter |

And The second richest person, Mr Shah is the founder of Bidco Group of Companies, a household consumer goods manufacturer. Oxfam said that the two richest people have more wealth than 16.5 million Kenyans. Also ranked in the top five are textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi at $680 million (An equivalent of Sh77.1 billion) and Mahendra Rambhai Patel $430 million (an equivalent of Sh48.7 billion), whose family owns Ramco Group, that has invested in print, property sectors, office supply, manufacturing and hardware.

Oxfam also listed the person of interest to most Kenyans, The President Of Kenya; Uhuru Kenyatta as the fourth wealthiest Kenyan with a fortune of $530 million (Equivalent to Sh60 billion), but Oxfam went ahead to add that this is likely associated with the wider Kenyatta family, as was the case in the past when Forbes said Mr Kenyatta had a net worth of $500 million ( Which is equivalent to Sh56.7 billion). The family of Kenyatta retains interests in a wide range of sectors, including hospitality, milk processing, land, banking, and media and transport.

The President Of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta / Photo Courtesy

The figures provided by Oxfam's are based on data from an organization that tracks the records of the world's richest individuals, Wealth-X. The charity, Oxfam of Kenya's wealth study report said that the data was up to date as of November 30, 2021. Between 2016 and 2021, the number of individuals with wealth over $50 million increased from 80 to 120. Their combined wealth increased from $12.73 billion to $17.4 billion, an increase of 36.8 percent, adjusted for inflation. 

Oxfam also added that however, there are no dollar billionaires in Kenya, in contrast with other large economy African nations, such as South Africa (Which has five dollar billionaires), Nigeria (Has three dollar billionaires), Morocco (Has two dollar billionaires) and one dollar billionaire in Zimbabwe. A majority of Africa’s billionaires have their fortunes linked to natural resources and commodities, which Kenya does not have in abundance.The Oxfam report says there are 19 dollar billionaires in Africa with a combined net worth of $73.4 billion (Which is equivalent to Sh8.3 trillion), having grown their fortune by $8 billion (Which is equivalent to Sh904 billion) since the start of the Covid pandemic back in March the year 2020.

Most Kenyans Are Still Living In Poverty / West Pokot Families Receiving Support / Photo Courtesy

Kenya currently has one thousand seven hundred and fifty five individuals whose indvidual net worth exceeds $5 million (which is equivalent to Sh567 million), with their combined wealth totalling $37.1 billion (equivalent to Sh4.2 trillion), which is about 41 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This concentration of wealth among a few individuals exposes Kenya’s status as one of the most unequal societies in the world, with a 2020 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics survey showing that more than 24 million Kenyans are still living in poverty.