Aliko Dangote: Businessman, Hero, Muslim Brother


BornApril 10, 1957 (age 59), Kano, Nigeria

Net worth18.3 billion USD (2015) Forbes

EducationAl-Azhar University

Organization foundedDangote Group

ChildrenHalima Dangote

SiblingsSani Dangote


Aliko Dangote is Nigerian billionaire, CEO, and Founder if the Dangote Group which specializes in commodity production. The company has its main headquarters in Nigeria and has branches in South Africa, Togo, Cameroon, Zambia, and Tanzania.

In January 2015, he was ranked as the 67th richest person in the world by Forbes, with a net worth of $18.6 billion. Dangote is also richest African in 2013 as he surpassed Hussein Al Amoudi by over $2.6.

Early life

Aliko Dangote was born on 10th April 1957 in Kano Nigeria to a very wealthy family. Since he was a child, he had an interest in business and wanted to make a change. According to him, Dangote used to buy cartons of sweets and sell them to make a profit. He attended Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt where he later graduated with honors and then returned to his homeland to establish a business.

Business career

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has given reasons why his pan-African conglomerate is building the continent's largest petroleum refinery

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has given reasons why his pan-African conglomerate is building the continent’s largest petroleum refinery

In 1977, Dangote established a small trading firm called the Dangote Group. The company at that time was small-scaled, but has managed to transform into a multi-trillion naira company and has extended its operations to several African countries such as Ghana, Benin, and Togo. The company now specializes in cover cement manufacturing, cover food processing, and freight. They are also the main leaders in sugar production in Nigeria.

In July 2012, Dangote managed to purchase an abandoned piece of land from the Nigerian Ports Authority in order to build a factory that would specialize in flour production. During the 1990’s, he requested the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses because it would be cheaper and favors both parties.

The Dangote Group currently is the main sugar provider in Nigeria and their refinery business supplies up to 70% of the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectionaries. The Dangote Group provides over 800,000 tons of sugar annually which makes them the largest refinery in Africa and the 3rd largest in the world.

The company also has salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of fish, rice, cement, pasta, and fertilizer. Profits are also made as they export cashew, cocoa, sesame seed, cotton and ginger to several neighboring countries, and abroad as well. The also the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa as they’ve employed over 11,000 people.

Dangote has also shifted his attention to telecommunications and has started building 14,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables to serve the whole country. Due to his innovations, he was honored as the leading provider of employment in the Nigerian construction industry in early 2009.

“Let me tell you this and I want to really emphasize it…nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money. If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.” Dangote said.

Awards & achievements

  • Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014
  • Conferred Honorary Citizenship of Arkansas State by Governor Mike Beebe


External Accolades



  • The Best African Initial Public Offer for 2007 by Africa Investors’ Index series.
  • Nigerian Stock Exchange’s President Merit Award for best-quoted company in the Food and Beverage sector in November 2007, DSR PLC
  • The Standards Organization of Nigeria awarded the Company the NIS ISO 9001:2000 International Quality Management Award.
  • 2007 Global Excellence Company of the Year Award
  • 2008 Nigerian Stock Exchange’s President’s Merit Award for Best Quoted Company of the Year in the Food and Beverages Sector
  • 2009 International Quality Award in the Gold Category, by renowned Business Initiative Directions- Madrid Spain


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