Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian business magnate. He is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist whose impact is felt globally.
Aliko Dangote is the chairman and CEO of Dangote Group; the largest manufacturing conglomerate in West Africa.
Dangote started small and has scaled his business to an enviable height which has earned him the 51st spot on Forbes list of wealthiest billionaires in the world.
Aliko Dangote is truly an inspiration to budding and aspiring entrepreneurs who believe in hard work.
When you take time to study how he started, his business strategy and what he has been able to accomplish, you will realise that he deserves all the accolade.
Aliko Dangote Biography
Aliko Dangote was born on the 10th of April, 1957 to Mohammed Dangote and Mariya Sanusi Dantata – a wealthy muslim family in Kano State.
He is the great grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata who was the richest African at the time of his death in 1955.
Aliko was educated at Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa, and went to Capital High School, Kano. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
He was previously married, and has three daughters, and one adopted son
Aliko Dangote is a muslim who is devoted to both his religion and family.
Aliko Dangote’s Business Career
The Dangote Group was established as a small trading firm in 1977, the same year Dangote relocated to Lagos to expand the company.
Today, it is a multi trillion-naira conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Togo.
Dangote has expanded to cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight.
The Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major supplier to the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners.
The Dangote Group has moved from being a trading company to be the largest industrial group in Nigeria including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour.
In July 2012, Dangote approached the Nigerian Ports Authority to lease an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was 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 that was also approved.
He also donated money to the Nigeria sport ministry to renovate the national stadium, Abuja.
In Nigeria today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70 percent 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.
Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement, and fertiliser.
The company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seeds, and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles, oil, and gas.
The company employs more than 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in 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 has said, “Let me tell you this and I want to really emphasise 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.
Dangote in his early stage was said to borrowed N500,000 from his uncle with an agreement to repay the loan in 3month.
With the loan, he started importation of Rice from Thailand and Sugar from Brazil.
Due to his hard work and strong business ethics, he realized over $10,000 daily as net profit and was able to repay the loan before the due date.
Dangote Recognition and philanthropy
Dangote sits on the board of the Corporate Council on Africa, and is a member of the steering committee of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, the Clinton Global Initiative and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.
He was named Co-chair of the US-Africa Business Center, in September 2016, by the US Chamber of Commerce. In April 2017, he joined the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
A dedicated philanthropist, Dangote made an initial endowment of $1.25 billion to the Aliko Dangote Foundation in March 2014, enabling it to scale up its work in health, education and economic empowerment.
In addition, he is collaborating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight polio and other issues. He is also on the Board of One Campaign
Aliko Dangote believes in giving back to the community which made Dangote Group start the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
Through Aliko Dangote Foundation, the company and Dangote gives back to the society.
The Foundation’s main objective is to reduce the number of lives lost in diseases due to malnutrition.
They achieve their objectives by leveraging Aliko Dangote’s investment in different sectors.
The Foundation also combats Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and improves the outcome of children’s lives.
Aliko Dangote’s Personal Investments
N50 million donation to the National Mosque.
N200 million donation to the Presidential Library.
$750,000 to halt the spread of ebola in 2014.
$100 million to the fight against child malnutrition in Nigeria in 2017.
In 2018, Aliko Dangote built homes worth $5.6million for internally displaced persons in Borno State.
N7 billion to support displaced persons affected by Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.
N50 million donation to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.
Built the Police Intelligence Hostel Complex in Kwara State.
Donated 150 fully-kitted operational vehicles to the Police Force.
He was given the second highest national honorary award.
Aliko Dangote Other Projects and Investments
Refinery and Petrochemical
The Group invested in a landmark integrated Refinery and Petrochemical project which is by far the largest Industrial complex in Nigeria history.
Dangote Group is currently building a Fertilizer Plant which is envisaged to be the largest in Africa.
Dangote will also be partnering with smallholders and contract rice farmers to grow rice paddy and sugarcane.
There is an ongoing alliance between Dangote Groups and Andrade Gutierrez (AG) Group referred to as AG – Dangote. AG is one of the largest infrastructure conglomerates in South Africa.
Dangote Group is starting a truck assembly plant in Lagos with the aim of producing 10,000 trucks annually. $100 million is used as capital outlay.
The Group is partnering with First E&P to start East West Offshore Gas Gathering Pipeline System (EWOGGS).
This project is the single largest gas infrastructure investment in the history of Nigeria.
Dangote has an estimated net worth of US$8.3 billion (July 2020), making him the 162nd wealthiest person in the world and the richest person in Africa.
Aliko Dangote’s Awards
Dangote was awarded Nigeria’s second-highest honour, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by the former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
Dangote was named as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014.
For six consecutive years, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Forbes listed him as the ‘Most Powerful Man in Africa’.
In 2014, he was listed CNBC’s ‘Top 25 Businessmen in the World’ that changed and shaped the century.
In April 2014, TIME Magazine listed him among its 100 Most Influential People in the World.
In October 2015, Dangote was listed among ‘50 Most Influential Individuals in the World’ by Bloomberg Markets.
He won ‘The Guardian Man of the Year 2015’.
He won the ‘2016 African Business Leader Award,’ organised by the Africa-America Institute (AAI)
Aliko Dangote’s Quotes
1. “Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work”.
2. “To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme”.
3. “When you are raised by an entrepreneurial parent or grandparent, you pick that aspiration. It makes you be much more aggressive – to think anything is possible”.
4. “I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work and one of my business success secrets is hard work”.
5. “It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2 AM and wake up by 5 AM. I don’t rest until I achieve something”
6. “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”.
7. “Every morning when I wake up, I make up my mind to solves many problems, before retiring home”.
8. “After my death, I want to be remembered as Africa’s greatest industrialist”.