President & CEO
Est. Net Worth
$10.3 billion Forbes
Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the president and CEO of Dangote Industries. Born and raised in Nigeria, he is the richest man in Africa and the wealthiest person of African descent.
Dangote Industries initially focused on the bulk sale of foods, later moving to shipping and cement manufacturing and distribution. The conglomerate has expanded to 10 African countries, over 30,000 employees and almost 20 subsidiaries. The corporation has been credited with helping Nigeria attain self-sufficiency in several sectors.
When asked about the secret to his success, he said that constructing a power grid brought his businesses a sense of independence unmatched by many African companies.
“We had a lot of capital, and we were able to build out our own power grid,” he explained to TIME magazine. “The number one thing that kills businesses in Africa is power, or the lack of power. We wanted to have our businesses completely independent, with our own grid. So we built it.”
In 1994, Aliko started the Dangote Foundation to fight malnutrition throughout the country and continent. The organisation has become the largest charitable institution in Africa, with an endowment of over $1.25 billion set up by Aliko himself.
The Dangote Foundation played a major role in limiting the spread of Ebola throughout parts of Africa, including Nigeria, donating $3 million to the African Union Ebola Trust Fund. It is also a top contributor to the country’s Saving One Million Lives initiative, which works to better maternal and child health services throughout Nigeria. The organisation is also working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight malnutrition.
The foundation also funds the construction of university libraries and hospitals throughout the country and has established a renowned business school at Nigeria’s Bayero University. It also promotes entrepreneurship amongst women and young people in rural areas through a cash transfer programme that disburses small grants to individuals who want to start small businesses.
“Nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money,” he was quoted as saying in the Nigerian Observer. “If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.”Tags: Africa, business conglomerate, philanthropy
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