The Richest African
At 54, Aliko Dangote, born in Kano, Nigeria, was named by Forbes Magazine as the richest man in Africa in 2011. With wealth estimated at $13.8 billion, Dangote is said to be the richest person of African descent in the world, surpassing Mohammed Al Amoudi ($12.3 billion), a Saudi/Ethiopian business man, and Oprah Winfrey ($2.7 billion). He is overall the 51st richest person in the world.
Dangote cut his teeth working for his uncle, Sanusi Dantata, an accomplished business man in his own right. In the late 1970′s with a loan from Dantata, Dangote moved to Lagos where he set out on his own, importing cement needed for the massive building and development program undertaken by the Nigerian government.
He soon moved into commodity trading, particularly supplying sugar for the country’s soft drink and confectionary industries and trading cotton, rice, cocoa, millet. textile and other products.
In addition to Nigeria, his Dangote Group has extensive operations in several African countries such as Ghana, Benin and Togo.
Dangote’s ranking by Forbes as the 51st richest person in the world is illustrative of Africa’s growing economic dynamism.