The Story of Aliko Dangote, Africa’s Richest Man

On April 10 in the year 1957, the richest man in Africa was born in Kano State, Nigeria. His name is Aliko Dangote, the founder of Dangote Group which includes the largest cement company in Africa. According to, his net worth is $12.5 billion as of August, 2021.

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote (Photo Credit: Dangote Group)

Aliko Dangote was the son of a wealthy Muslim businessman. He obtained a business degree from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. In 1977, he started a trading company that deals with sugar, flour, and other commodities. In 1981, Aliko founded a corporation that evolved into the Dangote Group. He then diversified into the import business dealing with fish, rice, milk, salt and other basic necessities of Nigeria’s growing population. Later, he established offices in neighboring countries such as Ghana and Benin.

In the 1990’s, Aliko Dangote expanded his operations vertically to include sugar refineries, flour milling, fertilizer and cement manufacturing. In agriculture, he had spent millions of dollars to develop modern rice, sugar and dairy farms. His cement business alone has operations in 10 countries in the African continent.

In 2014, Aliko Dangote started the construction of $12 billion oil refining, fertilizer and petrochemical complex in the Lekki Free Trade Zone.It is expected to become the largest oil refining plant with a production capacity of about 650,000 barrels per day, create 250, 000 jobs and provide foreign exchange earnings and savings of about $15 billion for Nigeria. A power plant will also be built as an integral part of the complex.

Aliko Dangote is married with 15 children. At present, publicly-traded companies affiliated with him make up the bulk of the capitalization of the Nigeria Stock Exchange.


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