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Numbers of local US dollar millionaires drop by 200

MBONGENI MGUNI
US Dollar notes
At least 200 people previously classified as US dollar millionaires fell out of the ranks of the super-rich in the last two years, an authoritative survey indicates.

The latest update of New World Wealth’s assessment of Africa’s richest countries and cities, suggests that from 2,000 US dollar millionaires in Botswana in 2018, the numbers by June 2020 had dropped to 1,800.

Produced in collaboration with AfrAsia Bank, the report’s researchers use models to calculate wealth breakdowns for each country, with key inputs that include stock market, property, income and GDP per capita statistics. Researchers also use historical in-house databases and account for currency, stock market and property price movements, amongst others.

The report also looks at total wealth among individuals and cities by including all assets such as property, cash, equities, business interests less any liabilities. The estimate also excludes government funds.

The New World Wealth report does not name individuals or identify their assets, in line with the confidential nature of its findings. The latest update, released on Tuesday, indicates that the number of US$ multimillionaires, or those with net wealth exceeding US$10 million (P110m) also fell from 80 in 2018 to 70 by June 2020. The country, however, still has two individuals with net assets of US$100 million.

Of the 1,800 US$ millionaires resident in Botswana as at June 2020, Gaborone accounted for 1,100, down from 1,200 in 2018.

By comparison, Africa’s richest country, South Africa, had 33,300 US dollar millionaires, 80 with net wealth over US$100 million and five with over US$1 billion. Johannesburg, the continent’s richest city, had 13,900 US$ millionaires as at June 2020 and two residents with net assets over US$1 billion.

Gaborone was ranked

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Africa’s 17th richest city with US$11 billion in total wealth held by individuals, behind cities such as Lagos, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi, Luanda and Kampala.

Researchers also found that that in addition to a reduction in the number of US dollar millionaires in Botswana, the total wealth held by individuals in the country declined by US$1 billion between 2018 and June 2020.

New World Wealth researchers, however, say total wealth held by all individuals in the country between 2010 and June 2020, rose by 14% to US$16 billion. It is expected that this figure will increase by 50% in the next 10 years to 2030.

Previously, researchers said wealth trends in Botswana were generally healthy.

“Botswana’s growth (between 2008 and 2018) was impressive when considering that wealth per capita there is already quite healthy,” the researchers noted.

“In the next 10 years to 2028, we expect Mauritius, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda to be the strongest performing wealth markets in Africa during this period with 100%+ growth rates. 

“Solid growth is also forecast in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia with 50%+ growth rates.”  The latest wealth data flies in the face of other reports that show deepening inequality in Botswana and the Southern African region in general.

Statistics Botswana’s recent poverty reports have shown that while at national level poverty declined between 2009-2010 and 2015-2016, rates had actually risen in cities and towns, while rural areas declined marginally.  The major fall between those two periods was the poverty rate in urban villages.



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