According to forbes.com, in April 2018, Aliko Dangote is the Richest man in Africa with a net worth of $13.3 billion dollars, a status he has held for the past seven years. At some point during those years, he was the 23rd richest man in the world.
Dangote Group is one of the largest private employers of labour in Nigeria and Africa as it employs over 11,000 people. The story of Dangote’s business success has been an inspiration to many people around the world.
Aliko Dangote was born on the 10th of April 1957 in Kano, Nigeria to Mohammed Dangote and Hajiya Mariya Sanusi Dantata . He was born to a wealthy home and his maternal grandmother father , Sanusi Dantata, a trader of commodities was one of the richest people in Nigeria as at that time.
Being born to a wealthy home contributed to Dangote’s success story but it was not only what actually made him to be as successful as he is today.
His grandfather, Sanusi Dantata, became Aliko’s guardian when his father died when he was was just eight years old. Growing up with his grandfather, gave him the opportunity to learn a lot about entreprenurship and business.
He was schooled at Capital High School, Kano and got his bachelor’s degree in Business Studies and Administration from Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
How He Started His Business Conglomerate
Just after leaving the university in 1977, Dangote sought for and got a business loan of N500,000 ( about $1388 today ) from his grandfather. This was actually a large sum of money as at that time.
He invested the money into the importation of commodities like rice from Thailand and sugar from Brazil. He was importing these at wholesale price and selling at smaller quantities to his village people at a very good profit.
The business was highly successful and he moved to Lagos that same year and was able to repay the loan he collected within 3 months of starting the business instead of the 3 years period he was asked to repay the loan by his grandfather.
The Turning Point in His Entreprenueral Journey
Dangote continued his importation business until 1997 when he decided to go into manufacturing. His true wealth came when he decided to manufacture the products he was importing.
He knew that if he produced the products himself, he would be able to control the sales price and make more profits as well. Therefore, his factory began to produce flour, sugar, pasta and salt. Subsequently, in 2009, he was able to acquire Benue Cement Company, BCC, a government owned cement factory in Benue state and moved from being a cement importer to producer.
His investments in cement and sugar production made him so much money and have been among the most successful of his business ventures. Today in Nigeria Dangote cement and sugar sell more than any other brand.
Moving from being the middle man to being the producer made a remarkable change in his entreprenueral journey.
Aliko Dangote’s Companies and Projects
Dangote group is the largest Industrial conglomerate in West Africa with many allied companies.
Dangote sugar PLC is the largest supplier of industrial sugar to bottling companies , confectioneries and breweries in Nigeria. It is the largest sugar refinery in Africa and third largest in the world as it produces 800,000 tonnes of sugar per annum.
Dangote Cement is the most used cement brand in Nigeria and the company’s stock is traded in the Nigerian stock exchange with a market capitalisation of almost $14 billion. Dangote Cement produces 44 million metric tons annually and plans to increase its output 33% by 2020.
Dangote Flour mills 7300 MT / day. It is the largest flour milling company in Africa and among the largest in the world.
The Dangote Pasta plant manufactures world-class Spaghetti and Macaroni. This is the largest Pasta Plant in Africa.
NASCON Allied Industries PLC produces is one of Dangote’s companies that produces edible and industrial salts, marketed under the brand name ‘Dangote Salt’.
Dangote Agro Sacks Limited produces bags for packaging goods produced by companies within the Group. Currently it produces 36 million bags/month.
Dancom Technologies Limited provides IT services including data center, and server operations, network operations, infrastructure support, IT Service Desk and end user support.
Dansa Foods Limited, is an associated dangote group company which produces bottled water and juices.
Dangote is also building an oil refinery in Nigeria which is expected to be completed in 2020. It is being built through a $3bn equity and $6bn loan capital.
The refinery will have a refining capacity of 10.4 million tonnes , Mt of gasoline, 4.6Mt of diesel and 4Mt of jet fuel, 0.5Mt of carbon black feed, 0.24 Mt of propane, 0.69 Mt of polypropylene, and 32000t of sulphur.
The largest Fertilizer Plant in Africa which shall rank among the second largest Fertilizer plants at one location in the world is being built by Dangote group.
Dangote Group is also establishing a truck assembly plant in Lagos to produce 10,000 trucks annually with an capital outlay of $100 million. This project is a Joint venture with Sinotruck, a Chinese automotive leader.
Dangote Group is also into other business interests like steel manufacturing, telecommunications, textile, banking, transport and real estate.
There is no limit to what you can achieve if you are focused and determined. There is enormous wealth in Africa that is yet to be tapped. However, you need to have the entreprenueral mind and sight to recognise the opportunities in Africa.
Be on the lookout for business opportunities. Go after them , grab them, seize them and utilise them.
Also, you need to be willing to create value and meet people’s needs, for therein lies your wealth. You need to believe in Africa in order to see the good in Africa. Foreign investors that come to Africa with the mindset of contributing to the continent’s growth and development would reap great wealth in return unlike those that come only make profits without adding value.
You too can become one of the wealthiest people in the world. It is possible. You can achieve it. It begins with a dream backed up with determination and commitment.