Taking a cue from the words of Melinda Gates that ‘not he who has much is rich but he who gives much’” it can be aptly said that the wealth of Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is not in his ownership of thriving conglomerates across the continent, but in his philanthropic milestones.
Through his Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Alhaji Dangote has remained an exemplary giver, and a great contributor to the betterment of humanity across Africa. The Foundation, which has an endowment of $1.25 billion has given more than $100 million over the past years to support health, education, empowerment, and humanitarian relief.
Dangote represents what African businessmen should be. He is an example for aspiring entrepreneurs across the continent. Start small, aim very high, identify and take advantage of opportunities. Do not be discouraged by challenges. Give, and give generously to help others make progress.
Born on April 10, 1957 in Kano State, right from childhood, he had his eye on business. We could say, he probably discovered his destiny early enough and keyed into it. In one of his words, “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets (sugar boxes) and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
Dangote, right from when he was young had his eyes on business. He had always, as all real entrepreneurs do, seen opportunities where others see high risk and failure.
He has invested in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy and across the African continent thus creating millions of direct and indirect jobs in the continent of Africa. He has become a business colossus that bestrides the global business environment, making him the richest African today.
Dangote, a graduate of Business Studies from the Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt, he started business in 1978 trading in commodities, before he ventured into full-scale manufacturing. The subsidiaries cut across cement production, sugar refining, salt refining, rice farming, flour milling, steel production, real estate and oil and gas.
The Group has presence in 17 other African countries, and also pioneering the development of a ground breaking refinery with the capacity to process 650,000 barrels of crude per day making it the largest single train refinery in the world with an estimated cost of $19 billion it is located in the Lekki Free Zone, Lagos, Nigeria.
Dangote is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative steering committee; founding member of the Gordon Brown-led Global Business Coalition for Education; and member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Dangote, who is also ranked by Forbes as the ‘Richest Black Man in the World,’ is a notable philanthropist.
Widely acknowledged as a living example of generosity, grace and fortitude, Dangote is obviously a man with many feathers attached to his many caps of achievements. Having recorded immense success in business, he has always endeavoured to give back to society. He is a well-known philanthropist who donates generously to many worthy causes.