With an estimated net worth of $10.3 billion, according to Bloomberg, the Dangote Group founder is the richest man in Africa. According to Forbes, he’s also the richest black person in the world. Most of the entrepreneur’s wealth derives from his 85.2 percent majority stake in Dangote Cement, which is the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa.
First launched in 1981, the Dangote Group now owns and operates more than 18 subsidiaries across a range of industries, including Dangote Cement, Dangote Flour and Dangote Sugar.
The 61-year-old billionaire credits much of his success to his maternal grandfather, who instilled a business mindset into Dangote at a young age. At just eight years old, Dangote would buy sweets with his allowance, which he’d give people to sell for a profit.
“When you are raised by an entrepreneurial parent or grandparent you pick that aspiration,” he told Forbes in 2015. “It makes you be much more aggressive — to think anything is possible.”
Dangote’s entrepreneurial interests followed him into adulthood. In 1977, he graduated with a business degree from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. When he returned to Nigeria, Dangote moved to Lagos, one of Africa’s wealthiest cities and the country’s largest financial center.
Using a $500,000 loan from his uncle, Dangote began trading in commodities such as bagged cement and agricultural goods like rice and sugar. These business ventures became so successful that he was able to repay his uncle within three months of starting the operation.
In 1999, Dangote shifted to manufacturing, building sugar refineries and a flour mill. When Dangote Sugar first debuted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2010, sales had quadrupled to $450 million, according to Forbes, making it the largest sugar refinery in Africa and by some estimates, the second largest in the world. Similarly, Dangote Flour tripled revenue to $270 million.
Dangote describes his professional journey as “exciting,” but notes that he’s also encountered obstacles along the way. Overcoming these challenges, he told Forbes Africa, required big thinking and an innovative approach. “You have to dream big to be able to be big and that’s what we’re doing,” said Dangote, who’s now building an oil refinery that’s projected to cost around $14 billion.
For his part, Dangote says he’s driven by the impact he can have on humanity. In fact, he’s also one of Africa’s top philanthropists. “You’d like to be remembered for things that you’ve actually done,” he told Forbes. “We Africans are the only ones that can make Africa great.”
I always said and still do believe, “It’s not the color of your skin, your religion, sexual orientation, etc. that matters but how you carry yourself, what you’re doing with yourself and how you portray yourself to others.” Here’s what I mean: If you look at the picture of Aliko Dangote he would look like a well dressed, clean cut, appliance sales person at a department store or maybe a new car salesman in a classy, high-end dealership. Basically he looks the part of a well rounded professional type of person. If you took the same picture of him sitting on a subway in New York city dressed like a thug with braids in his hair and tattoos all over his body, not to mention a few gold teeth, you would immediately have a stereotype of an undesirable degenerate black man.
The same could be said of a billionaire white guy. Take him out of his suit and tie, dress him like a gangster, give him a different vocabulary, and now you’ve got a white gangster. People judge on how you dress, how you speak, how you carry yourself, therefore, because this man is the worlds richest black man, he looks the part. Well deserving. I’ve never heard of this guy until I read this article. Pretty fascinating story. The world’s got a lot of billionaires now. And more coming into play every day from China, Africa, United Kingdom, South America, the list goes on. They all have one thing in common: they’re much smarter than the rest of us. That’s a fact.They got to where they are because they learned how to. Many of us want to but we don’t know how to.
The fact is they do and we don’t. Many billionaires have had a lot of help along the way. Many came from very wealthy families. Although you have to give them credit because they must’ve made money with their money or we wouldn’t be talking about them, plain and simple. Hats off to this guy for just his success and status because that’s all I know about him is from what I’m reading. Who knows what he’s doing behind closed doors. He’s walking the walk and talking the talk.
He’ll be an interesting guy to follow.
About The Author
- Robert Louis Annenberg Is a 40 year seasoned property owner, manager, investor, builder/developer and business man who is also an author of five published books to date (Amazon.com) and the chief editor of LifeQuestJournal.com. He can be reached at: Info@RobertAnnenberg.com and (201) 289-2500.
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