Aliko Dangote was named the richest man in Africa for the ninth time in a row since 2013. He owns the largest conglomerate in west Africa. Dangote owns about 70 % of the sugar refinery industry in Nigeria.
The Dangote Group also owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement, and fertilizer. He is indeed a man every African entrepreneurs looks up to?
But how did Aliko Dangote become the richest man in Africa? Indeed he is known to come from one of the richest families in West Africa at the time, however, Aliko did not inherit any of his wealth from his family.
At the age of 21, Aliko Dangote borrowed $3,000 from his uncle to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria, his native country. His business venture quickly became a success, and as a result, he managed to repay the entire loan within three months of starting operations.
He continued expanding his business and diversifying his investments since then.
Dangote has always reinvested the majority of his profits back into his businesses–one reason the company has grown so much since inception.
During an interview with Al Jazeera News, Aliko Dangote explained, ‘‘We [Dangote Group] are not doing like other Africans who keep most of their money in the bank.
We do not keep money in the bank. We fully invest whatever we have and we keep on investing. (sic)’’
Dangote has expanded into new business segments, including telecommunications, real estate, and steel manufacturing. Today his holding company, Dangote Group, is the largest conglomerate in West Africa with branches in Ghana, Benin and other West African countries.
His title as “richest man in Africa” seems only to be one he’ll hold for years to come.
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 2020 Dangote had a net worth of $8.1 billion