Aliko Dangote was born on April 10th, 1957. He is a Nigerian businessman, founder, chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group, West Africa’s largest industrial conglomerate. The Lagos, Nigeria-based company is expected to post sales of N1.38 trillion (US$3.4 billion) in 2021 in Sub-Saharan Africa, where he owns Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in Africa. He is also involved in sugar, salt, oil, fertilizers and processed foods.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his  net worth as of January 2023 is estimated at $18.7 billion, making him the richest person in Africa and the richest black man in the world. .

Early life

Dangote was born into a wealthy Hausa Muslim family in Kano, Kano State. Dangote is the son of Mariya Sanusi Dantata who was the daughter of businessman Sanusi Dantata. Aliko Dangote’s father, Mohammed Dangote, was a business partner of Sanusi Dantata. Through his mother, Dangote is the great-grandson of Al-Hassan Dantata, who was the richest man in West Africa at the time of his death in 1955.

Dangote was raised in a business-oriented family in Kano State, Nigeria. He was born and raised in a Muslim family and lived an above average life. Dangote’s grandfather, Sanusi Dantata, was once said to be one of the richest people living in Kano. He made his fortune selling commodities such as oats and rice. After the demise of Dangote’s father, Dantata originally became his guardian in 1965.

After spending much of his childhood with his grandfather, Dangote soon became interested in the world of business, saying, “I remember when I was in grade school going to buy boxes of candy, boxes of sugar, and, they were just selling. Since then, I have been very interested in business. ”


Dangote was educated at Sheikh Ali He Kumasi. He was educated at Madrasah and subsequently at Capital High School in Kano. Graduated from Government College,iin 1978. Afterwards, Dangote graduated distinctively with a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Al-Azhar University in Cairo. At the age of 21, Dangote graduated from Al-Azhar University in Egypt, where is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Islam. There, future entrepreneurs received further commercial training.

Emanation of the Dangote Group

After graduating from college in 1977, Dangote managed to convince his uncle to lend him money to start a business. Funds from the loan allowed him to import goods from international suppliers at wholesale prices. His two main imports were rice from Thailand and sugar from Brazil. He then sold these commodities in small quantities at a premium favorable to village consumers.

Dangote Group was founded in 1977 as a small trading company and in the same year Dangote moved to Lagos to expand the business. In the 1990s, he approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with the idea that it would be cheaper to let his transport company manage employee buses, and the proposal was approved. Today Dangote Group is one of Africa’s largest conglomerates with international offices in Benin, Ghana, Zambia and Togo. Dangote Group has grown from a trading company to become Nigeria’s largest industrial group and includes divisions such as Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement and Dangote Flour. Dangote Group dominates the Nigerian sugar market and through its refining operations is a major supplier (70% of the market) to soft drink makers, brewers and confectioners in the country. The company employs over 11,000 of his people in West Africa.

In July 2012, Dangote approached and was approved by the Nigerian Ports Authority to lease abandoned land in Apapa Port. He later built a sugar company factory there. It is found to be the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tons of sugar annually. The Dangote Group owns salt and grain mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizers. The company exports cotton, cashews, cocoa, sesame and ginger to several countries. In addition, it has significant investments in real estate, banking, transportation, textiles, oil and gas. In February 2022, Dangote announced the completion of the Peugeot assembly plant in Nigeria to the Kano and Kaduna state governments, following a partnership with Peugeot’s parent company Stellantis Group. Dangote Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria Limited (DPAN), a new automobile company based in Kaduna, began operations with the launch of the Peugeot 301, Peugeot 5008, 3008, 508 and Land Trek.

Success Trump Card

One of the reasons why the company has grown so much since its inception according to Dangote is because he has consistently reinvested most of its profits back into the business. He revealed this in an interview with Al Jazeera News; Aliko Dangote explained: We don’t keep money in banks. We invest everything we have and continue to invest.”

Unlike many wealthy Nigerians who made their fortunes in oil, Dangote initially chose a different path, but then he entered the oil and gas industry. To use part of its cash reserves, Dangote is working on a large oil refinery in Lagos, which is expected to come online in the second half of 2021. If successful, it could significantly reduce Nigeria’s dependence on international oil and gas suppliers and eliminate $7 billion worth of annual fuel imports.

His $15 billion refinery in Nigeria is the largest industrial project in Nigeria’s history, and he is expected to produce 650,000 barrels of oil per day.


Aliko Dangote now has a wife. He has been married a total of three times and has been divorced twice before. He has three daughters:

– Mary, Halima and Fatima. On November 14, 2021, Ariko’s younger brother, Sani Dangote, passed away from colon cancer.

Dangote is known for his simple and frugal lifestyle. He reportedly works 12 hours a day starting at 5 a.m. and goes to his gym six times a week.

Net Worth

Dangote became Nigeria’s first billionaire in 2007. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Dangote increased his personal fortune by $9.2 billion in 2013, making him the 30th richest person in the world at the time and the richest man in Africa. It is said that he became a person. In 2015, an HSBC leak revealed that Dangote was a client of his HSBC and had assets in his Haven of Taxes in the British Virgin Islands. As of June 2022, Dangote is Africa’s richest person with an estimated net worth of $20 billion.

According to Forbes, his net worth is $13.8 billion as at March 2023.

Political Involvement

Dangote played a key role in funding the 2003 re-election of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Under the auspices of “Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku”, he donated his N50 million (US$500,000) to the National Mosque. Dangote also donated his N200 million to the Presidential Library. These highly controversial gifts to members of the ruling PDP have raised significant concerns, even as Obasanjo’s anti-corruption campaign in his second term was widely publicized.

In 2011, Goodluck President Jonathan appointed Dangote to  be a member of the Economic Management Team. In 2017, rumors circulated that Dangote was considering running for president of Nigeria in the 2019 election. Dangote declined his candidacy, stating that he did not intend to run for elected office. Instead, Dangote joined Muhammadu on the special advisory board for Buhari’s re-election campaign.


Aliko Dangote is a leading philanthropist and founded a private charity in his name in 1994. Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) is dedicated to improving the lives of people across Africa by supporting health, education and economic empowerment initiatives. Today the foundation is the largest private foundation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Specifically, in 2013, the Dangote Foundation launched a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate polio and increase routine immunizations nationwide.

In August 2020, the entire African continent, most recently Nigeria, was officially certified free of wild polio.

In 2014, the Nigerian government announced that Dangote had donated her 150 million naira (US$750,000) to help stop the spread of Ebola. In 2016, Dangote pledged her N10 million to help Boko Haram-affected Nigerians. In March 2020, he donated 200 million Naira (500,000 USD) to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Giant Strides

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, founded and runs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer.

Through his holding company, he owns his 85% of his cement listed Dangote.

Dangote Cement has an annual capacity of 48.6 million tons and operates in 10 countries in Africa.

After years of development, Nigeria’s Dangote Fertilizer Factory began operations in March 2022.

The Dangote Refinery has been under construction since 2016 and is expected to be one of the largest refineries in the world when completed.



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