Business magnate, Sam Jonah is one of the wealthiest men in Ghana. But how big is his fortune and how does he make his money?
As a country, Ghana is endowed with natural resources like hydrocarbons, industrial materials and other precious natural metals.
Its mixed and digital economy has paved the way for some notable billionaires in the region to become the richest men and women in Ghana; some have also ranked among the richest people in Africa.
The country also ranks as the worlds’ second-largest producer of cocoa. Its vast resources have poised it to rank as a middle-income country.
Ghana is a middle-income country with vast resources at its disposal. It has a market-based economy; few policy barriers to trade have made its economy even more robust.
Ghanaian business magnate, Samuel Esson Jonah is one of the people who contribute to the GDP of the country. He has helped to reduce unemployment in Ghana and in some parts of Africa.
Dr. Jonah began his work in the early 1970s and joined Ashanti Goldfields in 1979, eventually advancing to the position of CEO. He led the firm to higher heights, making it the first African enterprise to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In June 2003, Jonah became the first Ghanaian to be knighted in the 21st century when he was presented with an honorary knighthood (KBE) by the then Prince of Wales Prince Charles, now King Charles, in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman, a leading business executive from the Commonwealth, and an international public figure. In 2022, he explained that it should have been the late Queen Elizabeth but she was busy hosting another guest. Well, this is why there is a “Sir” to his name.
The business mogul, who is celebrated as one of the richest in the country, said he finds it uncomfortable when he qualified based on his monetary worth. But, how much is Sam Jonah’s net worth, how does he make his money and what are some of his companies? Here’s everything TheDistin knows about the Ghanaian rich man.
|Celebrated Name:||Sam Jonah|
|Net Worth:||$1.2 Billion (estimated)|
|Source Of Wealth:||Self-Made; Diversified|
|Company:||AngloGold Ashanti; Jonah Capital Equity Fund|
|Full Real Name:||Samuel Esson Jonah|
|Date Of Birth:||November 19, 1949|
|Age:||73 years old (as of 2023)|
|Birthplace:||Obuasi, Kumasi, Ghana|
|Education:||Adisadel College, Imperial College London, Camborne School of Mines|
What is Sam E. Jonah’s net worth?
Sam Jonah is a Fante Royal originally from Cape Coast but born in Obuasi in Kumasi in November 19, 1949. He had his high-school education at Adisadel College then earned an Associateship in Mining Engineering at the Camborne School of Mines and subsequently a MSc in Mine Management at the Imperial College of Science and Technology.
Jonah has once noted that life was never all rosy for him. At 25, he started working in Ashanti Goldfield’s deep mines, located in central Ghana. He worked underground for the Ashanti mining company in exchange for an engineering scholarship at the U.K.’s Exeter University. The billionaire businessman later graduated and went back to the Ashanti Mining company.
According to Forbes, Sam E. Jonah was named the Chief executive officer at Ashanti in 1986; he attained this position at the age of 36; barely 11 years of working underground for the Ashanti mining company.
From working as a gold miner, Sir Sam Jonah became the president of AngloGold Ashanti and established a private firm which saw his fortune surged years back.
So, how rich is Sam Jonah? Sam Jonah has a current estimated net worth of $1.2 billion and is among the few billionaires in Ghana, per Africa Business Insider. However, speaking on BBUM show on Ghana Television, he revealed that although he has been a successful businessman, reports of his wealth have been grossly exaggerated.
Dr. Sam Jonah is current chancellor of the University of Cape Coast. He is the executive chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund that has its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The private equity firm is 78 percent owned by the Jonah family and 22% by Standard Bank. Sam’s equity fund, Jonah Capital owns 14 mineral resource assets across 10 countries in Africa.
The Jonah Capital Limited, based in South Africa, invests in the mining sector, real estate, agriculture, constructions, financial services, oil and gas services.
How did Sam Jonah make his money?
According to Goodmanamc, Sam Jonah Sir Sam Jonah reached the prime of his career when he led the $1.48 billion merger between Ashanti Goldfields and AngloGold in 2004.
The source adds that a lot of mining companies have benefited from Sam Jonah’s expertise in the mining industry. For example, per Goodmanamc, Sam helped Equinox Minerals; a mining exploration company based in Zambia, to increase its market share capitalization in 2006 and was sold to the Barrick Gold Corporation for $7.4 million. Moto Goldmines, another mining company which benefited from Jonah’s experience in mining, grew from a $50 million market capitalization company and was sold to Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti in October, 2009.
Sir Sam E. Jonah’s invested in a different business niche in Africa; his investments increased his net worth to become one of Ghana’s richest men and women.
Some of Jonah’s companies and firms he served as head of boards include Sttar Trust, Sam Jonah’s Bayport Management Ltd, Jonah Capital, Gryphon Energy Holdings Ltd, Gryphon Infrastructure Ltd, Mobus Property Holdings Ltd, Vodafone Group Plc, Moto Goldmine, Scharrig Mining, Equator Exploration Ltd, Uramin, Equinox Ltd, Range Resources, Moto Goldmines Ltd, Lonmin, Standard Bank of South Africa, Transnet, and Ashesi University, among others. He is also the former president of AngloGold Ashanti, a South African mining company.
He has 100 percent ownership in companies like Green Concessions ( a large-scale farming venture), Cavalla Resources (an Africa-focused iron-ore mining company), Kasempa Copper and Cobalt Project, a sugar refinery in West Africa, African Energy Resources (AFR) (he has 50% ownership), Mulungwa Coal Mining Project.
As Chairman of the board of Moto Goldmine, Sam Jonah was paid an annual retainer of C$100,000 and also had a total entitlement of options to acquire an aggregate of 4,192,100 common shares. According to Vodafone Group Plc’s 2014 Annual Report, Sam Jonah is paid an annual salary of GBP 151,000 and benefits of GBP 160,000 for being a non-executive director at Vodafone Group Plc.
He was once awarded Ghana’s highest national award, the Companion of the Order of the Star of the Volta, recognising him as one of Ghana’s richest and most prominent men.
What cars does Sam Jonah have? According to Carmart, Sir Sam Jonah’s has a list of exotic fleet of cars including a Lexus LX 570, and Merceded Benz G-Wagon Suv just to mention a few.
Sam Jonah once said he gets offended when rated by his riches
The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AngloGold Ashanti said he finds it uncomfortable when he is qualified based on his monetary worth, in an interview with Accra-based JoyNews.
He explained that he was brought up in a home that upheld good moral and humanitarian values above anything else.
“In my father’s house, there was an inscription, ‘wɔ bisa wu fie, w’ɔnbisa wo sika’… to wit, your name [the kind of upbringing you get from home] is far more important than your riches. So I take offense when, for instance, I have been defined by what people think I have,” Jonah clarified.
Even though there are reports of his assets that make him one of Ghana’s richest, he insists he is merely resourceful and does not subscribe to such descriptions.
“When I hear the nonsense that ‘they say he is the richest man in Ghana’, it causes me a lot of grief,” he indicated.