Written by: Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor
Indeed, entrepreneurship is a journey, and not a destination. As a group, the continent’s wealthiest 50 are worth $95.6 billion, a decline of $15 billion from a year ago. Aliko Dangote of Nigeria retains his spot as number one richest African for the fifth year in a row, but his $16.7 billion net worth is nearly $5 billion lower than a year ago, a result of a drop in the stock price at his Dangote Cement and a weaker Nigerian currency.
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. In 2015 Dangote Cement launched new plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia and Tanzania. The company produces more than 30 million metric tons annually, and plans to double capacity by 2018. Dangote owns about 90% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company; this percentage exceeds the 80% ownership ceiling set by the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Other companies in the Dangote Group, which is active in 15 African countries, include publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
A proven performer, the Africa’s richest man has been at the periphery of power. He has the resources, the connection and indeed the popularity to floor the average politician, yet indecisive of trying politics. Dangote started his business with the NGN 500,000 loan he took from his uncle in 1977.
His networking skills and ability to make unprecedented connections made him record the major breakthrough he needed for the prosperity of his business. His break through emerged when he acquired the license to import cement. Today, he sits atop West Africa’s biggest conglomerate and has been named as the richest black man on earth.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the most successful businessman of the continent. His business is presented in a lot of countries. As of January 2015, Dangote had an estimated net worth of US$18.6 billion. He made his fortune in cement, sugar and flour. In April 2014, months before oil prices plunged, he announced $9 billion in financing from a consortium of local and international lenders to construct a private oil refinery and fertilizer and petrochemical complex in the country.
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