Born on the 10th of April in 1957, Aliko Dangote has a net worth of $15.7 billion. He hails from a prominent business family in Nigeria.
He has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles, oil and gas. His 90% stake in Dangote Cement has helped him become the richest man in Africa, accounting for 80 percent of the Dangote Group’s revenue. Dangote owns cement plants in Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa and has also recently diversified to telecommunications.
In addition to this, The Dangote Group, which was formed in 1977, dominates the sugar market in Nigeria. The company also exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seeds, and ginger.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates told Time Magazine: “Aliko is Africa’s richest man, and his business activities drive economic growth across the continent. That’s impressive, but I know him best as a leader constantly in search of ways to bridge the gap between private business and public health”.
In January 2015, Dangote and the tech mogul announced $100 million pledge to cut malnutrition in Africa.
Long before he became the richest man in Africa, he began his journey with a $3000 loan from an uncle and went on to build a soft-commodities import and trading empire in West Africa.
Today, Dangote owns the world’s third-largest sugar refinery. According to CNBC, “the Dangote Group’s publicly listed companies account for one-third of the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s market capitalization”.
“Supporters say he is straightforward, honest and unsparingly competitive. Like many of his ilk, Dangote is a workaholic who rarely takes vacations,” says CNBC.
Along with making numerous business-savvy moves, Dangote realises the value of building a strong brand. He has said in an interview: “To succeed in business, you must build a brand and never destroy it. One competitive advantage I had when I ventured into manufacturing was my brand (Dangote), which I diligently built in the course of my trading.”