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Top 10 Best Companies in Africa

Aliko Dangote refinery company has increased his net worth over the years

The African economy has grown considerably well over the last two decades. 

The once-dark continent has now become a shining oasis that offers hope to other small developing countries around the globe.

Through continuous entrepreneurship growth and further investment, Africa has built its economy into an emerging market. 

However, the African success story would not be complete without some major corporations that have constantly aided Africa's growth. 

In this post, we discuss 10 of these major companies and how they shape the economic affairs of Africa.

1. Naspers

Naspers Limited, founded in 1915 by Jannie Marais and W.A. Hofmeyr, is a South African multinational internet, technology, and multimedia holding company headquartered in Cape Town. The company also has significant interests in book publishing, online retail, and venture capital investment. Naspers started out as a magazine and newspaper publishing company in 1915. 

Naspers’ largest shareholder is Prosus, a Dutch-listed investment subsidiary. Prosus manages the business's internet section, which includes online payments, social media channels, and more.

With a capitalization of over $80 billion and a presence in over a hundred countries across six continents, Naspers is the most valuable company in Africa. Naspers is currently quoted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and trades under the name “NPN.”

2. Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank Group is a bank and financial services company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has operations in over twenty countries scattered across six continents, an employee structure of over fifty thousand, and a value of over $19 billion.

The Bank was founded in 1862 by John Paterson, a British-South African residing in London. 

Standard Bank Group is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and currently trades under the name SBK.

3. National Bank of Egypt

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is a commercial bank and financial services provider headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. It is a licensed financial solution provider in Egypt. The National Bank of Egypt provides banking and financial services, including investments, insurance, lending, asset management, etc.

The NBE was founded in 1898 by Sir Ernest Cassel, Joseph Suares, Raphael Suares, Felix Suares, Moise Cattaul, and Constantine Salvagos. Nonetheless, in 1960, the Egyptian government naturalized the bank after it became the Egyptian Central Bank in 1951. 

NBE operates only in Egypt but has reached a value beyond expectation. The bank also acted as the Central Bank of Egypt, where it regulated the Egyptian banking sector.

The National Bank of Egypt's market value is over $16 billion. However, the NBE is not currently listed on any Exchange. 

4. Vodacom Group

Vodacom is fourth on the list of top African companies. The company is a South African telecommunications giant with significant activities in over 20 countries. Vodacom is currently the largest telecommunications provider in South Africa, accounting for almost 40% of the country’s networks.

Vodacom was founded in 1994 by Alan Knott-Craig; the company is currently listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as “VODACOM.”

Currently, Vodacom has a market value of over $14 billion and employs over eight thousand workers.

5. Anglo American Platinum

Anglo American Platinum Limited is undoubtedly the largest producer of platinum globally. It accounts for over 30% of the global platinum supply. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The company was founded by Anglo American, a US-based corporation with over a hundred years of existence and owned by Ernest Oppenheimer. 

Anglo-American Platinum is a subsidiary of Anglo-American Group, an international mining company with operations in South Africa and Zimbabwe. One key plus of Anglo-American Platinum is its effective management of the environment while mining.

Anglo American Platinum Limited's market cap is $9.9 billion. The company's currency trades on the JSE as “AMS.”

6. MTN Group

MTN is a major player in the telecommunications line, providing mobile access to over 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Founded in 1994, the company is currently the biggest mobile services operator in Africa, with a user base of over 200 million. It was founded by Leena Jaitley with assistance from the South African government. 

MTN Group, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, is valued at over $13 billion. It is currently the seventeenth most valuable stock on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and trades under the name “MTN.”

7. Gold Fields

Gold Fields Limited, formerly known as The Gold Fields of South Africa, is one of the largest gold mining companies globally. It is currently listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the trading name “GFI.”

The company was founded in 1897 by Cecil Rhodes and Charles Rudd as the Gold Fields of South Africa and subsequently merged with Gencor Limited in 1998. In addition to South Africa, the company operates mines in various locations, including Ghana, Australia, and Peru.

Gold Fields Limited is valued at over $11 billion and has over 17,000 employees. 

8. Sasol

Sasol is a chemical and energy company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Founded in 1950, it was founded on the foundations established by chemists and engineers from Germany in the early 1900s. Sasol is currently listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange under the name “SOL.”

Sasol creates synthetic fuels, coal tar, liquid fuels, and a host of other energy derivatives. The company is valued at over $11 billion.

9. Dangote Cement

Dangote Cement is the first and only Nigerian company on the list, finishing at number 9. The company moved six places from the 14th position in 2022 to the 9th position in 2023. Dangote Cement is Africa's largest cement production company, with a market value of over $10 billion.

The company was founded by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man with over $10 billion in net worth. It is currently listed on the Nigerian Exchange as “DANGCEM.”

10. AngloGold Ashanti

AngloGold Ashanti is completing the list of the biggest companies. The company is an international gold mining company with a significant presence in South Africa. In 2004, it was formed through a merger of AngloGold and Ashanti Goldfields Corporation.

The company is the fourth biggest gold miner in the world, with mining activities in Australia, Argentina, Ghana, and the United States. It is valued at over $10 billion. AngloGold Ashanti is currently trading in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange under the trading name “ANGGOLD.”

Conclusion

Africa has had its fair share of losses and is currently the world’s poorest continent. Nonetheless, some major companies in the African space are driving exploits. This post offers a comprehensive list of the top ten best companies in Africa.