Being royalty has its perks and one of them is a hefty pay cheque that affords Kings a more affluent lifestyle.
Africa still has several traditional monarchies that hold power. While many of the monarchies share their power with an elected president, Swaziland still has the only absolute monarchy in Africa.
In recent years some African monarchies have been unpopular due to the lavish lifestyle of Kings which is often paid for by taxpayers. Many have questioned their role in this new democratic era where people want to vote and elect their own leaders.
Despite many getting most of their wealth from the State, some Kings get a bulk of their money from personal investments and private businesses. They have used their influence and wealth from their forefathers to build dynasties.
Here is the list of the wealthiest monarchies in Africa:
King Mohammed VI, Morocco – Estimated net worth: $5.7 Billion
The King of Morocco leads pack as the richest King in Africa. His part of the Alaouite dynasty, which is the royal empire of Morocco, founded in 1931, but originated in the 13th century. Mohammed IV took over the reins from his father King Hassan II of Morocco in 1999.
He in inherited 35% of Nationale d’Investissement (SNI) from his father, a Moroccan investment holding company with assets estimated at $10 Billion. And with 70% of the phosphate reserves being in Morocco, Mohammed owns a substantial of the reserves. According to The Telegraph, King Mohammed earns a monthly salary of £25,126 ($32 894,71) and the total sum paid to all royal family members is £114,500.
Federick Oba Obateru Akinrutan – Estimated $300 million
Federick Oba Obateru is the traditional ruler of the Ugbo Kingdom, located in the Southwestern region of Nigeria. Although Ugbo is a small town, it has great deposits of crude oil and that’s how Oba amassed his wealth.
He founded an oil company, Obat Oil, with just one petrol station and now it is one of the largest privately-held oil trading companies with over 50 petrol stations in Nigeria and the largest tank farms in Africa. Federick is also a real estate mogul, he boasts an extensive portfolio of prime-commercial and residential real estates in London and in Nigeria.
King Mswati III, Swaziland – Estimated $50 million
King Mswati III has a personal net worth that is estimated at $50 million, which is based on the annual salary paid by the government coffer. He also controls Tibiyo TakaNgwane, a holding investment company that has assets estimated at $140 million and the money is held in a trust for the people.
King Mswati is also infamous for his lavish lifestyle and his polygamous relationships – he has 15 wives. In 2014 he faced public scrutiny when he raised his household budget by over 10% to R61 million.
Last year he was also criticised when he wore a watch worth $1.6 million for his birthday party when the country is suffering from impoverishment. The kingdom is reportedly one of the poorest nations in Southern Africa. With more than 60% of the 1.2 million population living on less $1 a day.
King Goodwill Zwelithini – Estimated $19 million
King Zwelithini heads the biggest tribe in South Africa, the Zulu tribe. Zwelithini earns R1.1 million rand annually. His household budget got an increase of R9 million over the next three years, making the overall budget R75 million.
A decision that was condemned considering the economic state of South Africa. The King also receives luxuries like private flight travels which are deducted from the revenues of tax collections in South Africa. The king is also known for his expensive taste in cars, and has a large collection.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II – Estimated $10 million
Otumfuo is the head of the largest ethnic groups in Ghana, the Ashantes. The kingdom is known for being rich in gold. Osei set up a sales company in 1989, Transpomech, which is now a $12 million company that provides mining equipment to large industrial companies in Ghana. The king is also a real estate mogul, with real estate properties in Ghana and South Africa. He also owns an impressive gold crowns jewellery collection.