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Kerry Dolan- Buffeted by plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, the number of African billionaires has shrunk to just 20, down from 23 a year ago. Four people fell off Forbes’ annual list of the continent’s richest since last year while one returned to the ranks after a four-year absence. All but four members of the list have smaller fortunes than a year ago.


For the eighth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is Africa’s richest person. His estimated $10.3 billion net worth, however, is nearly $2 billion less than a year ago, primarily due to a roughly 20% drop in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset.


The continent’s second richest is Mike Adenuga, also of Nigeria, worth an estimated $9.2 billion. Adenuga owns Globacom, which is Nigeria’s third-largest mobile phone network, plus oil exploration firm Conoil Producing, extensive real estate holdings in Nigeria and a network of 12,000 cellphone towers. His net worth has climbed dramatically from $5.3 billion in January 2018 as a result of more detailed information provided by him about his assets.


Number three in Africa is diamond heir Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa. His grandfather founded diamond mining firm DeBeers, which Nicky ran and then sold to mining giant Anglo American for $5.1 billion cash in 2012. He is currently worth an estimated $7.3 billion, down from $7.7 billion a year ago.


Among the few on the list who are richer than a year ago is Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe, worth an estimated $2.3 billion, up from $1.6 billion last year. He’s richer due to a rise in the share price of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and new investment that boosted the value of his stake in fiber-optic and satellite-services firm Liquid Telecom.


In a per country ranking, Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two. Forbes found one billionaire each from Algeria, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.


The three South Africans who fell off since last year’s list are Stephen Saad, founder of generics drug firm Aspen Pharmacare; Desmond Sacco, chairman of iron ore mining company Assore Group; and Christoffel Wiese, founder of retailer Pepkor and former chairman of furniture retailer Steinhoff International, which acquired Pepkor in 2015. Steinhoff is still reeling from an accounting scandal that was disclosed in December 2018, and shortly afterward Wiese stepped down as chairman of the company. The fourth dropoff is Onsi Sawiris of Egypt, who owns a stake in Netherlands-based fertilizer and chemical producer OCI N.V. All four fell off due to a decline in the stock price of their main asset.


Nigerian cement mogul Abdulsamad Rabiu, who runs and owns the BUA Group, returns to the list for the first time since 2015. He merged his Kalambaina Cement firm into publicly traded Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled, in late 2018. Rabiu now owns 97% of the listed entity. Kalambaina, which operates a new cement production facility, started selling cement in mid-2018. Separately, Rabiu’s OBU Cement recently expanded its operations, adding a new production line.


Two of the 20 billionaires are women: Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos; and Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria. Dos Santos’ fortune declined to an estimated $2.3 billion, down from  $2.7 billion a year ago, primarily due to a drop in value of her stock holdings in oil firm Galp and communications firm Nos—both in Portugal—and a decline in the value of Angolan mobile telecom firm Unitel, of which she owns 25%. Unitel is in arbitration with one of its shareholders, Brazilian telecom firm Oi, which claims it is owed $608 million in unpaid dividends from five years through 2014. (Unitel did not respond to a request for comment.) Nigeria’s Alakija owns a stake in one of the most productive oil fields in Nigeria, currently operated by Chevron. Her net worth dropped due to a decline in the value of the oil field, in part because its production has leveled off.


Altogether the 20 African tycoons are worth $68.7 billion, down from $75.4 billion for last year’s list. However, the average net worth for each list member this year has climbed to $3.4 billion from $3.3 billion in early 2018.


METHODOLOGY

Our list tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary businesses there, thus excluding Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, who is a U.K. citizen, and billionaire London resident Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian citizen. (Strive Masiyiwa, a citizen of Zimbabwe and a London resident, appears on the list due to his expansive telecom holdings in Africa.) We calculated net worths using stock prices and currency exchange rates from the close of business on Friday, January 4, 2019.  To value privately held businesses, we couple estimates of revenues or profits with prevailing price-to-sales or price-to-earnings ratios for similar public companies. Some list members grow richer or poorer within weeks—or days—of our measurement date.


Reported by Will Yakowicz, Zina Moukheiber, and Ariel Shapiro and edited by Kerry A. Dolan and Luisa Kroll

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 I feel like I need to provide clarity to the new labor market entrants on employer expectations during interviews. I have had people ask me various questions on what they should prepare for. My method is not to give them generic interview questions and answers, but rather is to tell them what these people are really looking for, so that when the question comes, they would be able to put their best foot forward, knowing the right direction.

Someone with Clarity of Career Direction/Path

A lot of companies are looking for someone whose career path/direction is aligned with where the company is headed to. An entry level candidate is expected to be groomed to grow with the company. No one wants to take someone who will be going in the opposite direction. A good way to show this to a prospective employer is to do proper research about the company and ask yourself if your proposed career path is aligned with theirs.


The next thing is to be able to communicate your career direction properly so you don’t look like a confused person. The course I studied is unrelated to HR in any way, but I was able to get my first HR internship role because I was able to convince them that the little HR exposure I got during my SIWES would put me on track to the new direction I want to pursue.


Someone Who is Teachable and Willing to Learn

It’s very hilarious when people list out these traits on their resume and don’t show any of them during an assessment/interview. As a fresh graduate, you should be able to acknowledge mistakes and how you have grown past it. While talking about your strengths, you should also talk about areas you’re looking to learn from if given the opportunity to work with them. Non-verbal cues like a lofty and proud look can sometimes pass the wrong message. When asked a question and you’re not too sure of the answer, don’t feel too bad and give up. Even Einstein didn’t know everything in the world. Be open, ask for immediate feedback so that it won’t repeat itself. Your attitude when you fail can be a selling point to an employer. Some people have answered questions poorly but the way they picked themselves up was so impressing, they were given a second chance immediately and we fell in love with them.


Someone Who’s Flexible and Adaptable to Work

As mentioned earlier, it’s not enough to just write it on the CV that you’re flexible. It’s to show it when asked different questions about helping a colleague or doing something outside your scope. No employer wants someone who is quite rigid and would start struggling when challenges come.


It would be ridiculous for an employer to hire a fresh graduate and expect the person to know it all, so don’t be scared. I had once struggled with interviews. When I finished NYSC, every interview invite was simply a heart attack session. I made up my mind to come to the other side of the table (recruiter), and help new entrants cross to the other side. I will be writing a series on this topic as time goes by.

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Entrepreneurship is not a destination; it’s a journey. On this journey, successful entrepreneurs don't have an expectation of “arriving” to some finish line. If you do have that expectation, you won’t continue to push yourself to step outside of your comfort and grow. You won’t seek out the things that truly help your business experience explosive results because all those things require you stretching yourself.


On any journey, you have times of joy and more than a few setbacks. During the times of joy, you feel like you can accomplish anything. It gives you the strength and motivation to continue to put in the work that helps your business. During the hard times, negative feelings and emotions can easily take over. Before you know it, you're feeling sorry for yourself and you turn to your familiar coping mechanism.


That coping mechanism could be food, alcohol, binge-watching TV or any other thing that takes your focus away from what you want to accomplish in your business. Since you don't have a boss or company dictating your day and what you accomplish, that time "coping" could turn into weeks of your doing no work at all.




Becoming a successful entrepreneur means understanding hard times are when you need to push. When there are obstacles, here's what you need to do.



Acknowledge, then process your thoughts.


The only way to get through obstacles is to start with acknowledging that they're there. The gateway to your feelings and emotions is your thoughts. What you think about and focus on is what you'll attract more of into your life. When you're dealing with obstacles, your thoughts focus on what you can't control and why that situation is happening to you. That can be a dark place.


When you feel your thoughts spiraling, give yourself two minutes to fully feel what is going on in your head. Don't try to suppress those thoughts -- let them out. When you try to suppress them, they grow stronger and threaten to get control. Once you have given yourself two minutes, take control of your thoughts. Focus on what brings you joy and what you're grateful for in your life. It's hard to be down when you're expressing gratitude.



Focus On What You Can Control


Life is messy. Change is hard. Growing a business is not easy and it feels like everything can go wrong at once. There are always going to be things you can't and shouldn't try to control. There are, however, things you can do something about. If your marketing plan is off, you can readjust. If your sales are lacking, you can go back what you know works. If a team member is causing more trouble than is worth helping them, you can let them go.


The point being, there are tangible things you can fix in your business no matter what is happening. Identify what the things are that you can do something about. Create a plan that will help you get on the path to recovery. Make it practical and actionable. Fill up your to-do list and calendar with the tasks that lead to results.




Ask for help, then take action. 


Some obstacles feel like more than you can handle. Seeking counsel and support can be the difference between you getting through it or failing. Don't try to be Wonder Woman or Superman. Seek help. One of the best things you can do is make decisions that help you recover. Talking and planning with someone who understands and is trained in dealing with a crisis is valuable. 


Then, make decisions that are action-based. If a decision pushes you toward the action that helps your business, make it. One of the best ways to recover from difficult situations is to take massive action. Taking action on the things you can control will give you progress. As you consistently take action, you'll be closer to your goal before you even realize.


Obstacles don't have to be business breakers in your life. You can learn from them and use them to make you a stronger and wiser entrepreneur. The most successful entrepreneurs understand that it's not the crisis -- it's your response that determines how successful you'll be. Stay strong, process your thoughts, create a plan and then take action.

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Most employees forget that it's not just their boss who is managing them — they are also managing their boss. This doesn't mean manipulating your boss. Rather, it means building a two-way relationship in order to best accomplish shared goals as a team.


When you manage this dynamic well, you create the groundwork for future success and career progression. Likewise, you'll be more engaged at work, produce better results, and develop your own skills faster.


So, what does successfully managing your relationship with your boss look like? Forbes Coaches Council members explain below: