The heads of state are some of the most influential people in the world thanks to their positions, but also their money. As the time goes by, the country leaders have more ways of monetizing their image. From successful investments to business ventures, now they are making far more money than before. For example, the Abraham Lincoln net worth was estimated at less than a million while some of the today’s leaders have amassed billions. In addition, we offer you the list of the richest presidents.
10. Denis Sassou Nguesso, The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Congolese President has been head of the state for the second time since 1997. His first term was in the period of 1979-1992. He has made his fortune thanks to his oil-rich country. Instead of improving the quality of life of the Congolese people, the president spends the money on his personal needs and travels. Sassou’s son and family are also known for their lavish life and spending habits which include some extravagant purchases. There aren’t records of the exact amount of his fortune, but it’s estimated to be in the $200 million – $400 million range.
9. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea
Obiang came to power in 1979 and gained a wide power provided by the constitution. He has the right to rule by decree. His government is non-democratic and he has been often accused of abusing power and corruption. Mbasogo is part of the top 10 richest presidents in Africa. The President gained a fortune of estimated $600 million mostly thanks to the oil production and control. His massive wealth is in total contrast with the overall poverty that strikes the country. Apparently, the dictator uses the funds for personal gain, instead of for the country’s benefit.
8. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan
Omar al-Bashir is a Sudanese politician, president, and head of the National Congress Party. He’s also the richest president in Africa in 2017 with a fortune of estimated $1 billion. Prior to his presidency, Al-Bashir was part of the Sudanese and Egyptian armies and was a Field Marshal for Sudan. However, his political career has been marled by numerous accusations of corruption. WikiLeaks revealed that the President embezzled $9 billion of state funds. Al-Bashir also became the first president to be indicted by the ICC for directing a campaign of killing, rape and plunder against citizens of Darfur. But, the charges were dropped eventually, and his fortune remains intact.
7. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan
Nazarbayev is the President of the ninth largest country in Europe. First, he was the First Secretary of the Soviet State of Kazakhstan after which he became the Head of the State in 1990. Since then, he has been the only one to have held that position. During his political career, Nazarbayev has made a fortune that today is estimated at $1 billion. The President is known for his authoritarian ruling style and the disgraceful concept of human rights. He has been accused of corruption and favoritism many times. As of recently, Nursultan Nazarbayev has formed the base for constitutional reforms for more open and efficient governance.
6. Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon
Ondimba has held his presidential position since 2009. The politician has an annual salary of $65,000, but he has managed to increase his fortune to a significant number of $1 billion. The main source of his impressive wealth came from embezzling more than 25% of the country’s gross product. Currently, Ondimba is the sixth richest president in the world for 2017. And, it seems that he doesn’t try to hide his fortune. Instead, he and his family like to show off by buying a lavish townhouse in Paris and other ridiculously expensive goodies.
5. Bashar al-Assad, Syria
Since 2000, Bashar al-Assad is the 19th Syrian President and has a net worth of $1.5 billion. After the bloody civil war, Syria is in ruins while millions of people were killed or exiled. However, the dictator still maintains 70% of the county’s assets. He was also listed as a chairman of ‘Syria Cham Holding’, a conglomerate with his cousin, Rami Makhlouf, as an executive. However, he was removed from the official list as he faced US sanctions. According to some financial records, the fortune of Al-Assad family goes over $100 billion.
4. Donald Trump, The United States
The 45th American President is also one of the richest US president ever. Before entering into politics, Trump was a TV personality and a successful businessman which brought about his significant net worth. Just for comparison, Obama’s net worth before he became a president was approximately $1 million. Over the years, he managed to found a real-estate empire. Trump is the first billionaire President of America with a fortune estimated at $3.1 billion. His fortune noted a decline in the past year, mostly due to his $66 million presidential campaign and the $25 million lawsuit over Trump University. It remains to be seen if the current President will climb up on this list. Maybe Trump will become the richest president in the world.
3. Kim Jong-un, North Korea
The supreme leader of North Korea has absolute power over the state. That being the case, he has amassed a fortune of $5 billion since he took power in 2011 and he’s one of the richest presidents at the moment. He has several bank accounts in different countries worldwide like Austria, China, Russia, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. Kim Jong-un is a controversial figure who spends more in a day than his people make annually. With his spending habits and political decisions, Kim Jong-un established a reputation as an erratic leader.
2. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
The current UAE president took power after his father’s death in 2004. But, before he became the county’s leader, Al Nahyan has held several important positions that helped increase his fortune. He has been Head of the Abu Dhabi Department of Defense, Minister of Finance and Minister of Defence of Abu Dhabi. Today, apart from his presidency, he is also a chairman of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the biggest sovereign wealth fund, which has more than $800 billion in assets. The Sheikh is known as modest, a good listener, and interested in his people. He has supported many environmental initiatives and programs. He is known for his large donations and charitable actions. With a fortune estimated at $15 billion, the UAE leader is the second richest president in the world.
1. Vladimir Putin, Russia
Vladimir Putin is arguably the richest president ever with a fortune of estimated $75 billion. However, it is possible that the real sum of his wealth amasses $200,000 billion thanks to his unlimited power over Russia. He’s the most powerful person of the modern times. The sources of his wealth are energy, oil, and land investments. The Russian President is a powerful figure worldwide and he seems to remain unconstrained by the conventional global norms. Controversy has followed the richest President in the world since the beginning of his political career, but it doesn’t seem to affect his net worth.
Here we conclude our list of the richest presidents and their net worth at the moment. It’s obvious that the most influential individuals worldwide use their power and position to accumulate their wealth. Some of them came to the presidency with a significant amount of money, while others turned to illegal activities to gain them.