How Aliko Dangote Became the Richest Person in Africa
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 successful, and as a result, he managed to repay the complete loan within three months of starting operations. For the ninth time in an exceedingly row, Dangote was the richest man in Africa in 2020, with an estimated net worth of $10.1 billion. The business empire he began to create over three decades ago, Dangote Group, is one amongst the most important private-sector employers in Nigeria furthermore because the most beneficial conglomerate in geographical region.
Dangote’s business interests encompass many industries, including oil and gas, commodity, and manufacturing. About 80% of his conglomerate’s revenue comes from Dangote Cement. in line with Forbes magazine, the subsidiary produces 44 million metric loads of cement each year and operates in 10 African countries. Dangote also owns the world’s third-largest refinery, and together, all of his publicly traded companies conjure 1 / 4 of the capitalisation of the Nigerian securities market.
Aliko Dangote turned a neighborhood commodities trading businesses into a multibillion-dollar corporation. Here’s how he did it.
Aliko Dangote has been the richest man in Africa for nine years in an exceedingly row, with a net worth of over $10 billion.
Dangote’s fortune is primarily built from his company, Dangote Cement, although he started his business empire from selling commodities like sugar, salt, and flour.
While he grew up upper-class, Dangote was entrepreneurial from a young age and commenced his first business with a loan from his uncle.
Early Life and Education of the Richest African
Born in 1957, Dangote grew up in an entrepreneurial household in Kano State, Nigeria. He was raised Muslim and lived an upper-class life. Dangote’s grandfather, Sanusi Dantata, was once named one in every of the wealthiest people living in Kano. He made his fortune selling commodities like oats and rice. Dantata became Dangote’s guardian in 1965 after the death of his father.
Having spent much of his childhood together with his grandfather, Dangote quickly took an interest in the world of business, once saying, “I can remember once I was in elementary school, i might go and buy cartons of sweets [sugar boxes] and that i would start selling them just to form money. i used to be so inquisitive about business, even at that point.”1
At age 21, Dangote graduated from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, considered one in every of Islam’s most prestigious universities. it absolutely was there the budding entrepreneur furthered his education in business.
An Empire Is Born
After graduating from college in 1977, Dangote managed to convince his uncle to lend him money to start out a business. The funds from the loan allowed him to import soft commodities at wholesale prices from international suppliers. Two of his main imports were rice from Thailand and sugar from Brazil. He then sold those items in small quantities to consumers in his village at a lucrative markup. The venture quickly became successful and was a moneymaker. In an interview with Forbes, Dangote claims that on his best days, he was realizing a daily income of $10,000. That allowed him to repay his uncle in exactly three months.
In 1997, Dangote realized that acting as a middleman was a awfully costly endeavor, so he built a plant to provide what he had been importing and selling for the previous 20 years: pasta, sugar, salt, and flour. round the same time, Dangote was awarded a state-owned cement company. Dangote significantly expanded the operations of the corporate in 2005 by constructing a multimillion-dollar manufactory. the development was financed with $319 million of Dangote’s own money additionally to a $479 million loan from the International Finance Corporation, a sister organization of the globe Bank.
Each of his manufacturing divisions has since been separated into publicly traded companies: Dangote refinery PLC., National Salt Company of Nigeria PLC., Dangote Flour Mills PLC., and Dangote Cements PLC.
Expanding the Empire
Dangote has always reinvested the bulk of his profits back to his businesses–one reason the corporate has grown most since inception. During an interview with Al Jazeera News, Aliko Dangote explained, ‘‘We [Dangote Group] aren’t doing like other Africans who keep most of their money in the bank. We don’t keep money in the bank. We fully invest whatever we’ve got and that we keep it up investing. (sic)’’
Unlike many wealthy Nigerians who made their fortune in oil, Dangote initially chose to travel down a distinct path, but he has since entered the oil and gas industry. In a shot to place a number of his cash reserves to figure, Dangote purchased an refinery in Lagos in 2007. He hopes the refinery, which is scheduled to be at full capacity by the top of 2020, will significantly reduce Nigeria’s reliance on international suppliers for oil and gas. The $10 billion refinery in Nigeria is predicted to provide 650,000 barrels of oil per day.
The Bottom Line