Alhaji Aliko Dangote is a self-made business magnate.
He was born on 10 April 1957 in Kano, Nigeria.
Mr. Dangote’s business empires estimated net worth is around $20.1 billion USD as of March 2013.
Based in Nigeria, he is the owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities with operations in his homeland and several other countries in Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia.
Dangote is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 43rd richest person in the world and the richest man in Africa.
Mr. Dangote, a Northerner, precisely from Kano State, Nigeria was born into a resourceful and hard working Muslim family.
However, right from when he was young he had an eye on business.
He has said, “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets, sugar boxes, and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
He studied business from the Al Azhar University, Cairo in Egypt,and thereafter returned to Nigeria to work with his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata.
Dantata afterwards gave him a loan of =N=500,000 (Naira) when he was just 21 years old to start a business.
To date, Dangote has reportedly given away about $100 million of his fortune to charity in recent years. Causes he supports include flood relief, healthcare, and poverty reduction.
And the Dangote Group which started as a small trading firm was established in 1977. Today, it is a multi-trillion naira conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo.
At present, Dangote has enlarged his line of businesses to also cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. Also of note is that the Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria. It is the major sugar supplier to the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners.
Historical records also show that besides these achievements, the Dangote Group has also moved from being a trading company to being the largest industrial group in Nigeria and these include: Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour just to mention but a few.
As per what qualities a businessman should possess, Aliko Dangote is said to possess a knack for seeing opportunities beyond the naked eyes that others can never see. This is because, in the month of July 2012, he approached the Nigerian Ports Authority with the idea of leasing an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was welcomed and approved.
He later went to build facilities for his flour company there. So also in the 90’s, he approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with the idea that it would be cheaper for the bank to allow his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses which was also approved.
In Nigeria as of today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and Sugar Refinery is the main supplier (70% of the market) to the country’s soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is indeed, the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually.
Apart from these, Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and also being a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizer.
Moreover, the company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seed and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles and oil and gas. The company employs over 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in the whole of West Africa.
Dangote who has received numerous International and national Awards and Honors, is also exploring into telecommunications and has started building 14,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables to supply the whole of Nigeria and as a result. He was honored in January 2009 as the leading provider of employment in the Nigerian construction industry.
He said, “Let me tell you this and I want to really emphasize it…nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money. If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.”
On the 14th of November, 2011, Dangote was awarded with a National Honour, Nigeria’s second highest honour, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.
CAPE TOWN\SOUTH AFRICA, 06MAY11 – Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria, during the African Fellowship Programe with Young Global Leaders announcement at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 held in Cape Town, South Africa, 4-6 May 2011. Copyright (cc-by-sa) © World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org /Photo Matthew Jordaan firstname.lastname@example.org
Date 6 May 2011, 09:14:07
Author World Economic Forum