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Africa has a GDP of $2.6 trillion (Nominal; 2019) and $6.7 trillion (PPP; 2019). Several and small and large companies make up this vibrant economy. From small holiday package companies, to large conglomerates. 

In this article, we will be showing you the biggest companies in Africa you might have never heard of.

Biggest Companies in Africa.

  1. Sonatrach

Sonatrach is an oil company located in Algeria. It Is involved in exploration, pipeline, transportation, processing, and marketing, etc. of hydrocarbons and their derivatives. 

It was founded in December 1963, and owned by the Algerian government. It is known as the largest company in Africa with over 154 subsidiaries, with more than 200,000 employees and is often referred to as “the first African oil major.

Sonatrach also owns about 51% of Air Algeria, which is a passenger and commercial airline company.

  1. Firstrand

FirstRand is a portfolio of integrated financial services businesses and offers a universal set of transactional, lending, investment, and insurance products and services.

FirstRand Group also known as FirstRand limited is among the largest Financial Services providers. It is located and also operates in South Africa, certain markets in sub-Saharan Africa, the UK, and India.

The group’s track record of delivering superior returns to shareholders has been achieved through a combination of organic growth, acquisitions, innovation, and the creation of completely new businesses.

FirstRand Limited is the largest financial institution by market capitalization in Africa as Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX)

It is also considered to be the richest company in Africa in the banking sector with its presence in eight countries in Africa, including the likes of Ghana, Swaziland, Nambia, and Nigeria, among others.

Asides Africa, it also has branches in India, Guernsey as well as in London.

It is also among the largest banking groups of sub-Saharan Africa.

It has over 50,000 employees. 

It was founded in 1838; as the Eastern Triocrees Province Bank, and now known as the First National Bank

Its headquarters is located in Johannesburg, South Africa

Chairman: Roger Jardine

Group CEO: Alan Pullinger

  1. Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank Group is a financial institution that offers banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, institutions, and corporations in Africa and abroad.

The Standard Banking Group is one of the leading providers of financial services on the continent.

It is also Africa’s largest lender in terms of assets. It has been in existence for 157-years ago. It services 20 African countries. It has over 50000 employees, and the bank has a presence in not just Africa but in Asia and Europe too.

  1. Sonangol

Sonangol is the State-owned oil company, responsible for the management of oil and natural gas exploration on the subsoil ​d continental shelf of Angola, and is responsible for the exploration, production, manufacturing, transportation, and marketing of hydrocarbons in Angola. They are committed to environmental protection in their operations.

It was created as a public company in 1976 from the Decree-Law No. 52/76 of 9 June, which established the National Fuel Society of Angola (Sonangol) is a state-owned company dedicated to exercise the activities of exploration, research, production, transportation, refining, storage, distribution and processing of oil and other hydrocarbons and their derivatives and waste and so is the equipment in their respect, petrochemical and related industries and their marketing. The decree also establishes that Sonangol is intended to manage on behalf of the assets held by the Angolan Government, based on the standards applied to commercial undertakings. Sonangol operates in the market under strict performance standards in order to ensure efficiency, competitiveness, and profitability, aiming to add shareholder value.

In this context, Sonangol works to become a benchmark in the international market and, in particular, the African market and fulfill the task of performing as an integrated and competitive company and act as a transforming force in Angola. To this end, implements fundamental assumptions of an inserted company in the market economy, customer-oriented and strictly ethical conduct, engaged in the communities in which it operates responsibly in relation to health, safety, and the environment.

  1. 5Imperial Holdings

Imperial Holdings Ltd. is an investment holding company with interest in retail, logistics, car rental, leasing, insurance, parts and industrial products distribution, and financial services. 

Imperial Holdings was founded on February 15, 1946, and has its headquartered in Bedfordview, South Africa.

Imperial Holdings started with a focus on transport and distribution and later expanded into warehousing and synchronization management and other segments.

The company also deals with international freight management and works in several industries.

It is one of the most renowned logistics company all through the supply chain.

They have about 51,000 employees.

Their main purpose was to check the petrol and natural gas production in the country.

It has its headquarters in Luanda, Angola. The country’s government owns most of the stake in this company. It also controls many other companies.

Sonangol has offices in America, Europe, and Asia. It also sponsors several arts and sports across Africa.

Apart from this, Sonangol also has its interests in technology and real estate.

  1. Steinhoff International

Steinhoff International was started by Bruno Steinhoff over 56 years ago, Steinhoff International is a manufacturer, source, and retailer of household goods and furniture.

Their presence is across Africa, Australia, and Europe.

Apart from this, Steinhoff International is also the owner of several industries across Africa.

These include passenger services, supply chain solutions, manufacturing, and timber products, among other things.

It has over 130,000 employees and is said to be one of the richest companies in Africa.

The company was originally founded in Germany and It later moved its headquarters to South Africa around 1998.

  1. Bidvest Group

Bidvest Group is a leading South African services, trading and distribution group

It operates in the areas of consumer and industrial products, electrical products, financial services, freight management, office, and print solutions, outsourced hard and soft services, travel and aviation services, and automotive retailing.

It was listed on the JSE Limited and with roots firmly established in South Africa, they consistently broaden their product offering through organic and acquisitive growth in local as well as selected niche international markets.

It was established in 1988 and has generated over R77,2billion revenue.

It has approximately 124,000 employees.

The company also has a bank known as Bidvest Bank.

  1. MTN Group

MTN Group is a multinational mobile telecommunication company in South Africa. It was formerly known as M-Cell and started operating in 1994.

It operates in many African, European, and Asian countries. It has its head office located in Johannesburg. It has over 250 million customers, which makes it one of the richest companies in Africa. They are ranked at number 8 globally in terms of mobile networks.

The group is the largest one in Africa. It also has customers in over 20 nations. 35% of the total revenue of this company is said to be from Nigeria. MTN Group recently announced, “Ralph Mupita” who happens to be the group CFO as the group new president & CEO with effect from 1 September 2020.

  1. Sasol

Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of about 31,270 people working in 31 countries. They develop and commercialize technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals, and low-carbon electricity.

Sasol’s new value chain-based operating model came into effect in 2014. Towards this end, the Sasol Group is now organized into two upstream business units, three regional operating hubs, and four customer-facing strategic business units, supported by fit-for-purpose functions as stated on their website. 

It started in 1950 and is one of the richest companies in Africa. Sasol is listed on the stock exchanges of Johannesburg as well as New York. Sasol Ltd has its headquarters in Sandton in South Africa.

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