The tech firms, techpreneurs wealthier than most African countries

Gen Z are now a huge part of the world population, with estimates ranging from 24-30 percent, and their keen interest in technology makes them an increasingly influential demographic. PHOTO/ COURTESY

It is not doubt that technology has spawned global multinationals and produced wealthy individuals who have amassed unimaginable fortune after fortune through innovation.

Looking at the top companies in terms of capitalisation or value, and the list of the richest entrepreneurs in the world, you realise that it is dominated by tech companies, underlining how technology has become a crucial economic engine.

Just to get the perspective of the financial muscle these tech conglomerates possess, firms such as Apple – which occupies the top perch on the global rich list with $260 billion cap – are worth more than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries, especially those found in Africa.

Only Nigeria whose GDP stands at $515 billion, Egypt at $394 billion, and South Africa $330 billion beat Apple in terms of wealth. This means only three out of 54 African countries have amassed bigger wealth than Apple.

Samsung Electronics with $198 billion cap comes second on the list of top technology firms. The firm is wealthier than Algeria whose GDP is at $150 billion. It also beats Moroco with $124 billion national wealth, and Kenya whose economy is valued at $106 billion.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer, with $178 billion cap occupies third place on the list of tech-based firm’s financial muscle, and just like Apple, only three African countries beat it in terms of wealth.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, comes third with $162 billion cap. Microsoft is fourth on the tech firms’ rich list at $126 billion, followed closely by Chinese giant Huawei with $124 billion. Dell Technologies with $92 billion and Hitachi $80 billion slot themselves at position 6 and 7 respectively.

Aside from giving birth tech companies with vast amount of resources, a number of individuals have generated mindboggling wealth through innovation with the list of the rich globally dominated by techpreneurs.

Currently, the richest individual globally is Elon Musk who has made a fortune from his electric vehicles empire Tesla. Musk is worth about $218 billion. This means his wealth is more than that of countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Kenya and Ethiopia. Only GDPs of Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa are higher than Musk’s wealth. This also means Musk is, unbelievably, richer than 51 African countries.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ net worth is estimated at $165 billion, coming second on the wealth list. This means he is a head of Algeria ($151.46bn), Morocco ($124.00bn), Kenya ($106.04bn) and Ethiopia ($93.97bn), and of course the other countries below these African economic powerhouses.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates comes third on the global rich tech entrepreneurs’ list with a $130 billion fortune. With such a financial purse, he beats countries such as Morocco, Kenya, and Ethiopia, countries whose GDP come at position 5th, 6th and 7th in Africa. This goes to underscore how filthy rich Musk, Bezos and Bill Gates are.

Believe it or not, the top six richest individually possess more wealth than Kenya’s GDP.

Other individuals on the rich list are Warren Buffet ($111.1bn), Larry Page ($111bn) Larry Ellison ($108.2bn), Sergey Brin ($107.1bn), Mark Zuckerberg  ($104.6bn) and Steve Ballmer ($95.7bn).

Most of these are tech entrepreneurs and innovators who have minted more money, which can only be the envy of many African countries.

 Larry Page is the co-founder of Google, along with Sergey Brin. Larry Ellison is the co-founder, executive chairman, chief technology officer and former chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation.

Of course Mark Zuckerberg needs little introduction with popular social platforms Facebook and Whatsapp being his flagship ventures.

 Steve Ballmer served as the chief executive officer of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014.

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