Africa is neither the most developed nor the smallest continent in the world; so there are always the black patches but Africa hosts some globally recognized individuals, who are not regular celebrities but business icons, role models and internationally recognized leaders. Among these icons and leaders, who have undoubtedly made not just a name for themselves but a fortune, there would always be one that leads the rest. When wealth is the judging factor, who exactly is Africa’s representative?
Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian who is not only the richest man in Africa, but regarded as the richest black skinned man in the world. He is the CEO and chairman of the Dangote Group, a business conglomerate that spreads across the larger parts of Africa. He hails from Kano state, a very popular state in Northern Nigeria and he is related to Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, who was the richest person in West Africa as at the time of his death in 1955.
Dangote Group has interests in the production and distribution of Agricultural goods, and commodities. The company is responsible for the production of around 80% of daily consumables like Sugar, Flour, and some other agricultural raw materials. The company’s cement production plant is the largest in West Africa, producing over 25,000 metric tons of cement annually and distributed across Africa. As a matter of fact, Dangote cement is the most used cement in Africa, and among the top 20 most used cement brand in the world. He also has the third largest sugar refinery in the world with over 800,000 tons produced annually. Dangote sugar is the choice for top brands that has sugar in the list of their ingredients, making him the main supplier to the country’s giant soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners, supplying around 70% of the market.
The Dangote Group which began in 1977, has gone on to become a multi trillion naira business conglomerate with its tentacles spreading across countries like Togo, Benin, Ghana, of course Nigeria, and many other African countries. The billionaire is known to prefer indigenous investments over foreign investments and he confirmed it in 2009 when on an interview, 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.”
He just recently launched his tomato paste manufacturing plant in Kano and plans to make it the preferred tomato paste instead of other brands that are being imported into the country. Some of the products that have Dangote stamped on them include spaghetti, instant noodles, salt, sugar, flour, macaroni, rice, tomato paste, cement, all of which are manufactured, distributed and sold in huge quantities daily. The billionaire who once stated his interest to purchase Arsenal FC, a top flight club in England has already not only reiterated his desire to invest in the telecommunication sector but has already began building a 14,000 kilometre of fibre optic cables to serve the whole Nigeria as he plans to launch something in the telecommunications sector.
The richest man in Africa, who is a philanthropist and a father of three girls, is currently worth a mammoth $21.6 Billion.