You might have heard about this man, who is currently considered to be the richest person who comes from Africa, according to the official calculations. He is a business magnate, investor, and most importantly, the owner of a mega-successful conglomerate, Dangote Group.
Aliko Dangote is a very frequent on Forbes Top 100 list of the richest people. His peak on this list was in 2014 when he became the 23rd richest person in the entire world. Currently, according to the official Forbes website, this businessman is the 66th most powerful person worldwide.
Now, that you know the basic information about Aliko Dangote, it is time to dive into his exciting biography and discover how he reached his overwhelming success! In the past, he was just a regular boy with a dream, like all of us, so maybe you will get inspired and motivated by his story.
Where is Dangote from?
Aliko Dangote comes from Kano, Kano State. He lives in Banana Island in Lagos state, Nigeria.
Aliko Dangote’s age
The businessman was born on April 10th, 1957. He is currently 61 years old.
Aliko Dangote’s education
He received his primary education at Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa. Later, he moved on to become a student in Capital High School, Kano. Aliko Dangote obtained his higher education degree in Al-Azhar University, Kairo, where he specialized in business studies and administration.
History of Dangote and his achievements
Originally, Aliko Dangote came from a pretty wealthy and respected family. His grandfather was Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, who once was the richest African before he passed away in 1955. As his father passed away very early, Aliko’s rich grandpa had to take over and become his guardian. However, the story of Aliko Dangote is still very inspirational, because not every wealthy person can still work hard to achieve personal accomplishments, and have such exceptional business skills.
Aliko Dangote remembered that during his primary school education, he would go out to buy candy cartons and then sold them to his peers to make some money. Even at this young age, he was already very interested in business and curious about how it works.
There are different reports of how Aliko Dangote began developing his business on a bigger scale. According to some accounts, when he was only 21 years old, he borrowed $3,000 from his uncle, planning on importing and selling agricultural goods in Nigeria. In a few months, his venture became a success, and he was able to repay the loan. As the other version states, it was $2,500, and he borrowed this money from his grandfather, promising to repay loans within three years. He settled in Lagos and started his rice and sugar importation from Brazil and Thailand, and selling the goods in Nigeria. His business quickly reached high demand and became extremely profitable. Aliko paid back the money to his grandfather in three months after starting the venture. Either way, this is how Aliko Dangote started trading agricultural goods.
Dangote Group was established in 1977. The same year, Aliko Dangote decided to relocate to Lagos, in hopes to expand the company. At first, Dangote Group was producing some agricultural goods, as well as pasta, flour, and sugar. However, Aliko Dangote’s little business became interesting for lots of people, and they started massively buying the goods that Dangote Group produced. Very soon, this man has become one of not so many Nigerian billionaires. He also won the approval of the government. This is how he was given a cement plant, which eventually become a huge success.
Soon, Dangote Group officially became the largest supplier of sugar in Nigeria and gained a very rich and diverse client base. Among Dangote’s clients, were various breweries, confectioneries, and soft drink manufacturers. When he started pursuing and developing his cement plant, it quickly became one of the most successful new entries into the cement manufacturing industry world.
Aliko Dangote now owns large companies, which are all branches of Dangote Group. They are called Dangote Cement, Dangote Flour and Dangote Sugar Refinery. The group founded by this billionaire nowadays dominates on the sugar market. Aliko Dangote’s refinery is not only the largest in Africa, but also the third largest in the world. Dangote Sugar Refinery produces 800 thousand tones of sugar every year.
This man also owns the flour mills and salt factories, which are primary importers of fish, rice, cement, pasta and the fertilizers. It also exports such products as cocoa, cotton, sesame seeds, ginger, and cashew nuts. Aliko Dangote’s group invests in banking, textiles, transport, oil and gas, and real estate. More than 11 thousand people are employed in this company, and it is rightfully called the biggest industrial conglomerate in the western part of Africa.
The billionaire approached the Nigerian Ports Authorities in 2012, with a request of leasing the piece of land which was long abandoned. It was situated in Apapa Port. Dangote’s request was very soon approved, and he got a chance to build flour company facilities on this land.
Aliko Dangote has always been the type of businessman who reinvested most of his profit back in business. This is one of the reasons why he has become such a rich and successful business person and the wealthiest person in Nigeria. In one of his interviews where he spoke about his success, he said that Dangote Group is not like other African companies, and they tend not to keep their money in the bank. They make full investments wherever they can, and they always continue investing.
Even though he did not follow the path of many other wealthy Nigerian businessmen whose fortune came from the oil investments, for Aliko Dangote oil is just one of the many ways to earn money. He entered the industry of gas and oil for the additional income. He established Lagos-based oil refinery in 2007. It was estimated that the plant will produce 650,000 oil barrels per day..
The British newspaper “Daily Mirror” reported in 2010 that Aliko Dangote was going to purchase a stake of 16 percents in the Premier League football club Arsenal. This stake originally belonged to Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. However, Dangote went on to deny the rumors. In May 2015 he actually expressed his interest in becoming owner of Arsenal football club.
November 2011 was the time Dangote received the award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger. This is the second highest honour in Nigeria. This award was given to Aliko Dangote by the ex-President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. In 2014, the government of Nigeria announced that Aliko Dangote has made a very generous donation towards the prevention of the spread of Ebola virus. According to the government, he has donated N150 million.
Some of his other awards are Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014, Clinton Global Citizen Award 2015, and the number six position in the list “100 Most Influential Philanthropists 2018” created by Richtopia, the company from the UK. He also has honorary citizenship of the Arkansas State, which he was been given with six other Nigerians who have done prominent things for the country.
Aliko Dangote is not exactly the example of the “rags-to-riches” story, as he already grew in the wealthy family and had a lot of things that other children did not. But we have to applaud his overwhelming interest in the business which he developed since early childhood. Not all rich people can create such a huge business empire as Aliko Dangote.
Aliko Dangote’s wife
A lot of Nigerians are interested whether Aliko Dangote is married. Even though this man is so wealthy and has unlimited amounts of money, he is not able to buy everything. He was married twice and also dated a few women, but none of these unions lasted.
His first marriage was when he was only twenty years old. His wife was chosen for him by his family, and their marriage did not last long. Later, he fell in love with another woman – Nafisat Yar’auda. However, she did not want to marry him and rejected his proposal. The second wife of Aliko Dangote was Maria Muhammad Rufai. This marriage also ended in divorce. After he split up with Maria, the rumors appeared in the media about him romance between him and the beauty queen Sylvia Nduka. They were even rumored to be married in secret. But unfortunately, this union was no more successful than the previous ones.
Aliko Dangote’s children
The successful mogul is a father to three gorgeous daughters. Their names are Halima, Mariya, and Fatima. Not much is known about them, except the fact that they were very studious, and graduated from universities of the United Kingdom. Despite the fact that their father is so wealthy, they are lead very modest way of life.
Aliko Dangote with his daughters. Photo: eagleee.com.
The oldest daughter of Aliko Dangote, Halima is married to Sulaiman Sani Bello, and together they have two lovely daughters. Mariya is a graduate of Coventry University. All the daughters are involved in the family business, and hold the respectable positions at his corporation. Aliko Dangote also has an adopted son, whose name is Abdulrahman Fasasi. The businessman is very proud of all of his children.