Is Aliko Dangote the richest black man in the world?

Written by Esosa Aihie

liko Dangote, Founder, President and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group said, “One day, Dangote Cement will be the world’s number one”. Dangote a Business Studies graduate of Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt from his past record means every word he says.The man who strives for the best and who transformed his successful commodities business as a sole trader (in rice, sugar and cement) into one of the largest manufacturing conglomerates in Africa.

According to Dangote “Nigeria is really the best place to invest. It is one of the best places to make money. You know all over the world it is the best kept secret actually in terms of investment.”  According to this year’s Forbes list of World billionaires, Dangote’s net worth is a whopping $13.8 billion up from $2.1 billion a year ago and making him the 51st richest person in  the world. The leap from the 436th position to the 51st has made him the biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa’s richest individual for the first time and the second richest man in the Middle East and Africa (behind Saudi Prince Awaked bin Talal Allseed, worth $19.6 billion).This means that his ranking surged 557 per cent in one year. A huge feat for a black African and one who generated his great wealth from the so called “least developed continent”.

Chief Joseph Makoju, Special Advisor to President/CEO of the Dangote Group said at the Making Nigeria Your Goal event in London this year, that “Dangote plans to float his Companies outside Nigeria and Africa on the London Stock Exchange. Makoju said that Dangote’s huge expansion drive in Nigeria, across Africa, diversification (steel, telecom, oil refinery, fertiliser plant, tomato paste Plant) and proposed listing on the London Stock Exchange will increase the Group’s market share whilst creating opportunities for investment and significant contribution to economic growth in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world”.

Dangote Cement Plc was also ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 Companies, as 1,434 in the world with a: total asset of $2.1 billion; total market value of $12.5 billion; and profitability of $384.4 million. This is the first time a Nigerian company would feature in the annual ranking of 2000 public companies in the world by Forbes magazine. Publication of the ranking which first commenced in 2001 based on sales, profits, assets and market value is a useful indicator of the leading public companies in the world. 25 African companies made this list, dominated by South Africa, Egypt and Morocco.

In 2010, Dangote Cement Plc, one of the four listed subsidiaries of the Group, made history when it became the largest quoted company in Nigeria, following its historic merger with the state owned Benue Cement Company Plc (BCC) to enhance efficiency and the eventual listing of the emergent company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The company, which had a market value of $14billion as at the time it was listed, currently accounts for about a third of the market capitalisation of the Nigerian bourse.

Dangote consolidated all his publicly-traded and private cement holdings in several African countries to form Dangote Cement. Dangote Cement now owns about six cement import terminals in Nigeria and Ghana, through which it imports and bags cement. His terminals in Nigeria alone have a combined capacity of 9 million metric tons per annum. His company also owns Obajana Cement, which is the largest cement plant in sub-Saharan Africa, boasting a capacity of over 5 million metric tons per annum. Other factories in Ibese and Shagamu add an additional 10 million metric tons per annum. Dangote recently acquired a controlling stake in Sephaku Cement, a South African company. He has also invested hundreds of millions of dollars towards new cement plants in Zambia and Senegal.

The company is now Africa’s largest cement manufacturer and one of the biggest in the world. Dangote said he wanted “to create an African champion that can compete with the largest cement companies in the world”.


“Nigeria is really the best place to invest. It is one of the best places to make money. You know all over the world it is the best kept secret actually in terms of investment.”

Dangote Cement’s emergence among Forbes Global 2000 barely a year of its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is a remarkable feat and attests to the company’s drive and vision of becoming globally competitive. “We already have operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Zambia and South Africa. We are looking for opportunities in emerging markets like the Middle East and Asia. I think the time has come for us to go global,” he says.

“I have built the biggest cement company in Africa. Now I’m setting out to build the biggest cement company in the world,” he says. Dangote’s main focus for expansion is sub-Saharan Africa.

Dangote plans to boost cement output to 50 million metric tons by 2013 from an estimated 20 million tons this year, Dangote said in an interview in Cape Town, where he attended the World Economic Forum on Africa. Growth in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, will fuel most of the demand for cement in coming years, Dangote said. Dangote plans to invest $3.9 billion over the next 28 months to more than double the production of cement.

Author: nmmin

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