Africa's Youngest Billionaire Makes History on Fortune's 40 Under 40 List

Ashish Thakkar started his first company in Uganda at the age of 15.

Posted: 09/20/2013 01:15 PM EDT

“Great news! I’m on the Fortune 40 Under 40 list this year – first African!” tweeted Ashish J. Thakkar on Friday.

As Africa’s youngest billionaire, the 32-year-old understood the significance of his history-making inclusion among the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and executives.

His pan-African conglomeration, Mara Group, his serial entrepreneurship and his philanthropic work supporting young African entrepreneurs through the Mara Foundation landed him the 19th spot, between Catherine Lacavera, Google’s Director of Litigation, and international music star Will.i.am.

Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square and Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, were also included in the annual prestigious list.

Ventures Africa reports:

After surviving the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Ashish moved to Kampala, Uganda with his family. During High School in Kampala, Ashish began selling computers to his classmates and friends. 

That computer trading business formed the earliest foundation of the Mara Group – a Pan-African conglomerate that is actively involved in everything from manufacturing to agriculture to property development and Information Technology.

The group has total assets in excess of $1 billion and over 7,500 employees across 21 African countries. 

Read the full story here.

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  (Photo: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

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