How Aliko Dangote earned her $ 16 billion fortune to become the richest black person in the world

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Africa is a continent rich in natural resources, but one that contains some of the poorest and most war-torn nations in the world. This is less the case in Nigeria, thanks to the efforts of Aliko dangote, the richest black person in the world. On his own, he is raising the profile of his country and continent, which in turn improves the quality of life for residents of Nigeria and Africa. Dangote was born into a prosperous family on April 10, 1957. His great-grandfather founded one of Nigeria’s most successful peanut farms and made his fortune exporting peanuts to Europe in the early 1900s. When Dangote was a child, he started a business venture selling candy at a profit. He graduated from Egyptian University of Al-Azhar with a Business Degree and started The Dangote Group. His company traded cement and, thanks to his family’s ties to the government, was able to obtain the licenses he needed to start his business. Over the following decades, he worked in Brazil and purchased several homes around the world, including the United States.

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP via Getty Images

Dangote returned to his native Nigeria in the late 1990s. He became involved in politics during this time and supported the People’s Democratic Party, which won the elections. He was then able to use his political connections to build the world’s largest cement plant while forcing the government to limit the amount of cement that could be shipped through Nigerian ports. As a result, Dangote’s cement business was basically the only one licensed to operate in Nigeria. It built a mine and airstrip for $ 1 billion and officially opened in 2008. Its cement plant operates in 14 African countries.

However, the cement was only the first part of his overall plan. Today, he runs a range of businesses in everything from food processing to manufacturing to freight. He started the Dangote sugar refinery, Dangote Flour, and owns a salt mine. Its sugar refinery is the largest in Africa. About 70% of the sugar used in sweets and drinks in Nigeria comes from its sugar refinery. Dangote also controls much of Nigeria’s exports of cocoa, ginger, cashews, sesame seeds and cotton. Dangote’s businesses have created so many jobs in Nigeria that it has won several awards from Nigerian business associations and the government. He was even the recipient of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger, which is the second highest honor a Nigerian can receive.

Dangote has extended its activities and vision from Nigeria to oil. He wants his country to become a force to be reckoned with in the oil industry. Using $ 3 billion in loans from Nigerian banks, he built a $ 9 billion oil refinery. Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, but due to outdated refineries the country has imported most of its oil and fuel. Not anymore. Not with the Dangote refinery. It is Nigeria’s largest private oil refinery.

Before Dangote established his empire, Africa was first and foremost a continent that exported things. Dangote radically changed that. He was able to educate his fellow Africans on the value of goods produced by their continent and how keeping them on the continent can increase the fortunes of many. Dangote provides the infrastructure to make this possible.

Fundamentally, Aliko Dangote’s exceptional ambition and business acumen raised Nigeria’s profile and fortune in the eyes of the world.

About Walter Bartholomew

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