In 2019 and for the eighth consecutive year, Aliko Dangote was ranked by the American magazine Forbes. Africa’s first billionaire and 136th in the world, the 62-year-old businessman made his fortune in cement. The largest producer of “white gold” on the continent had difficulty realizing how rich it was.
One day, I withdrew $10 million from my bank …. I took them home, looked at them and said: “Now I know I have money.”Aliko Dangote, April 2019
Born into a wealthy Muslim family in Kano, the big city in northern Nigeria, Aliko Dangote quickly acquired a sense of business. Inspired by his grandfather, he started his first business at the age of 8 by selling his own sweets, as he tells Forbes magazine.
But it really all starts at 21. After training at Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the young graduate in management and commerce borrowed money from his uncle and set up a small cement sales company. Success was achieved and he quickly multiplied his capital.
Over the years, the Nigerian businessman has amassed an impressive fortune through cement production. His company, present in about fifteen countries in Africa, is developing and diversifying. Sugar, flour, pasta, salt, real estate management… Dangote group is now a conglomerate with publicly traded production companies. He recently became interested in oil with the construction of a refinery in Nigeria, which could become one of the largest in the world. The African tycoon also has his sights set on the Arsenal football club.
Invest in Africa
With his meteoric rise and his colossal fortune, Aliko Dangote arouses admiration, but also criticism. Some accuse him of having approached politicians to take advantage of passes. But the businessman is not formalized and continues to develop his activities in Africa. According to him, the two most promising sectors are new technologies and agriculture. He calls on the continent’s young entrepreneurs to think big and invest for the long term. “I wish I could clone myself,” he said in an interview with the American magazine Time. At the same time, Aliko Dangote makes a quick calculation and says that ten as he would do….