Aliko Dangote in 2011
10 April 1957 |
|Alma mater||Al-Azhar University, Cairo|
|Occupation||Chairman & CEO, Dangote Group|
|Net worth||US$ 25 billion (2013)|
|Relatives||Sani Dangote (brother)|
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, MFR, GCON (born 10 April 1957, Kano, Nigeria) is a Nigerian business magnate with an estimated net worth of $25 billion USD as of March 2014. 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 23rd richest person in the world and the richest man in Africa. He ousted Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi in 2013 by over $2.6 billion to become the worlds richest black man.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a northerner from Kano State, Nigeria, was born on the 10th of April 1957 into a wealthy Muslim family. From the time he was young Dangote had an eye on business. He 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 at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and thereafter returned to Nigeria to borrow from his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata, would eventually provide him a loan of ₦500,000 (Naira, NGN) when he was just 21 years old to start a business.
The Dangote Group was established as a small trading firm 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. The Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major sugar supplier to the country's soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. The Dangote Group has 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 a few.
In July 2012, Dangote 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 built facilities for his flour company there. In the 1990s 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, a proposal which was also approved.
In Nigeria today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70% of the market) to the country's soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is 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 is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizer. 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 has diversified into telecommunications and has started building 14,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables to supply the whole of Nigeria. As a result, Dangote was honoured 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."
As far as politics are concerned, Dangote played a very prominent role in the funding of Olusegun Obasanjo’s re-election bid in 2003, to which he gave over N200 million (US$2M). He also contributed N50 million (US$0.5M) to the National Mosque under the aegis of "Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku". He also contributed N200 million to the Presidential Library. These highly controversial gifts to members of the ruling Party [PDP] have generated significant concerns despite highly publicized anti-corruption drives during Obasanjo's second term.
On 23 May 2010, Britain's Daily Mirror reported that Dangote was interested in buying a 16 percent stake in Premiership side Arsenal belonging to Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. Dangote later denied these rumours.
Dangote reportedly added $9.2 billion to his personal wealth in 2013, according to the Bloomberg Index, now making him the 30th richest person in the world in their ranking, in addition to being the richest person in Africa. 
- "The World's Billionaires #43 Aliko Dangote". Forbes.com. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
- Net worth as of March 2012 per Forbes
- Dangote Group's Cement Operations Spans Six African Countries
- "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "The Black Billionaires 2013". Forbes. May 03 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Aliko Dangote Poised To Buy Stake In English Soccer Club
- "Nigerian plays down Arsenal link". BBC News. 2010-05-24.
- Photos from the ceremony in which Dangote received the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic on the 14th of November 2011
- "Aliko Dangote Racks in $9.2 bn in 2013". Bellanaija. January 3 2014.
- Barau, A.S. (2007) The Great Attractions of Kano. Research and Documentation Directorate, Government House Kano