The following table details the performance of millionaires in selected African countries between the end of 2007 (the peak before the financial crisis) and the end of 2015. This allows us to determine how well each country has performed through the crisis.
As reflected, Mauritius was the top performing African country for millionaires during this period, with growth of 160%. Ethiopia also performed well with growth of 130%.
|Africa: Millionaire growth by country, 2007-2015|
|Millionaire growth %, 2007 – 2015|
|Egypt, Arab Rep.||-20%|
|Note: Rounded to nearest 5%.
|Source: New World Wealth|
The strong growth in millionaires in Mauritius was driven by:
- Strong economic growth.
- Secure ownership rights.
- Migration – a large number of wealthy individuals have moved there over the past decade. We estimate that 240 millionaires have moved there from South Africa alone since 2007.
- It has become a major retirement destination.
- Low taxes which encourage business formation and appeal to retirees. Company and personal income tax rates are only 15%, with no inheritance or capital gains tax.
- Automatic citizenship if one buys a US$500,000+ home in the country.
- A thriving and growing financial services sector, particularly in offshore banking, fund management and private banking.
- Low level of government regulation in the business sector (when compared to nearby countries such as South Africa which has exchange controls, high taxes, big trade unions and Black Economic Empowerment hiring requirements).
- Lifestyle – beaches, weather and scenery.
- Low crime rate.
In line with the rise of wealth on the island, there are several new luxury developments going up, many of which are golf estates.
Going forward over the next 10 years (2015 – 2025), Mauritius is expected to continue to be the fastest growing country in Africa for millionaires. Ivory Coast and Kenya are also expected to perform well.
Notes and definitions:
- “Millionaires” or “HNWIs” or “high net worth individuals” refer to individuals with net assets of US$1 million or more.
- “Wealth” or “net assets” is defined as the net value of assets (assets less liabilities).
- For the purposes of this report, local millionaires include all individuals who are living or working in country, including expats.