How did Aliko Dangote become the richest black man?

Aliko Dangote GCON is a Nigerian business person who was born on April 10, 1957. With an estimated net worth of US$11.1 billion as of May 2021, he is Africa’s wealthiest individual. 


Aliko Dangote was born on 10 April 1957 into a rich Muslim family of the Nigerian bourgeoisie, the son of Mohammed Dangote and Mariya Sanusi Dantata, the daughter of Sanusi Dantata, in Kano, Kano State. He is the great-grandson of Alhassan Dantata, who was the wealthiest West African when he died in 1955.

Dangote attended the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa before attending Kano’s Capital High School. He has remarked about his early life:

I recall going to the store to buy cartons of sweets [candy] and then selling them to get money when I was in primary school. Even back then, I was quite interested in business.  He graduated from Birnin Kudu’s Government College in 1978. Al-Azhar University in Cairo awarded him a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration.

Aliko Dangote – Bussiness career


The Dangote Group began as a tiny trading firm in 1977, the same year Dangote moved his company to Lagos to expand. It is now a multi-trillion-naira corporation with activities in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, and Togo, among others.

Dangote has expanded its operations to include food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight transportation.


The Dangote Group dominates the Nigerian sugar industry and is a major supplier to soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour are all part of the Dangote Group, which has grown from a trading concern to Nigeria’s largest industrial complex.

Dangote approached the Nigerian Ports Authority in July 2012 and was granted permission to lease an abandoned plot of land at the Apapa Port. Later, he established facilities there for his flour industry.

In the 1990s, he contacted the Central Bank of Nigeria with the concept that allowing his transport company to operate the bank’s fleet of staff buses would save the bank money, a proposal that was also approved.

He also contributed funds to the Nigerian Sports Ministry’s renovation of Abuja’s national stadium. Today, the Dangote Group is the primary supplier (70 percent of the market) to Nigeria’s soft drink firms, breweries, and confectioners, thanks to its dominance in the sugar market and refinery industry.

It is Africa’s and the world’s largest sugar refinery, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar each year.

The Dangote Group has salt and wheat mills, as well as being a significant importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement, and fertilizer. Cotton, cashew nuts, chocolate, sesame seeds, and ginger are among the products exported by the company. It also has significant real estate, banking, transportation, textiles, oil, and gas investments.

The workers over 11,000 people and is West Africa’s largest industrial group.


Dangote has entered the telecommunications market and is currently installing 14,000 kilometers of fiber optic lines across Nigeria to serve the entire country. As a result, Dangote was named the #1 job creator in the Nigerian construction industry in January 2009.

“Let me tell you something,” he said, emphasizing that “nothing will help Nigeria more than Nigerians returning their money.”If you give me $5 billion right now, I’ll invest it all in Nigeria. Let us join our minds and get to work.”

Other Activities of Aliko Dangote

Dangote was a major contributor to Olusegun Obasanjo’s re-election campaign in 2003, donating over N200 million (US$2 million). Under the umbrella of “Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku,” he donated N50 million (US$500 thousand) to the National Mosque. He made an N200 million donation to the Presidential Library.

Despite highly publicized anti-corruption drives during Obasanjo’s second term, these extremely contentious presents to members of the ruling PDP party have raised considerable concerns. 

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Dangote increased his wealth by $9.2 billion in 2013, making him the thirty-first richest person in the world and the richest person in Africa.

Dangote gave 150 million nairas (US$750,000) to the Nigerian government in 2014 to help stop the spread of Ebola. He gave 200 million nairas ($500,000) to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria in March 2020.


Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola have pledged to provide the Nigerian Super Eagles $75,000 for each goal scored in the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). 

Dangote is a Nigerian businessman who lives in Lagos. He’s been married twice and divorced both times. Mariya, Halima, and Fatimah are his three daughters, while Abdulrahman Fasasi is his adoptive son. He is also a supporter of Arsenal Football Club in England and has indicated an interest in acquiring the club.

Aliko Dangote – Awards

  • He was listed CNBC’s “Top 25 Businessmen in the World” who changed and shaped the century in 2014
  • Time magazine listed him among its 100 most influential people in the world In April 2014,
  • Dangote was listed among “50 Most Influential Individuals in the World” by Bloomberg Markets in October 2015.
  • “The Guardian Man of the Year 2015” was awarded to him.
  • The Africa-America Institute (AAI) presented him with the “2016 African Business Leader Award”.
  • Dangote was cited as one of the top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2015,2018 and 2019.
  • For six years in a row, Forbes named him the “Most Powerful Man in Africa,” in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Aliko Dangote – Membership

Dangote is a member of the Corporate Council on Africa’s board of directors, as well as the steering committees of the United Nations Secretary-Global General’s Education First Initiative, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council. In September 2016, the US Chamber of Commerce designated him co-chair of the US-Africa Business Center.

He joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s board of directors in April 2017. He is also a member of the One Campaign board of directors.


Although Aliko Dangote began his economic empire by selling commodities such as sugar, salt, and flour, Dangote’s income is mostly based on his company, Dangote Cement. While he grew up in a wealthy family, Dangote was an early entrepreneur who began his first firm with a loan from his uncle. Dangote is the only Nigerian on the 500 billionaires list, with a fortune of $17.8 billion.

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