Aliko Dangote Biography

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Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian Businessman and philanthropist who is the founder and chairman of Dangote Group, which is the largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest on the African continent. According to Forbes, Dangote is the richest African and the 162nd wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $USD 8.5 Billion.

Aliko was born on 10 April 1957 into a wealthy Muslim family, the son of Mohammed Dangote and Mariya Sanusi Dantata, herself the daughter of Sanusi Dantata. He is the great-grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest West African at the time of his death in 1955. He lost his dad at the age of 8 and was raised by his uncle, who gave him his first business loan, which he paid back in three months.

A graduate of Al-Azahar University in Cairo, Egypt, Dangote began his business career in 1978, trading in rice, sugar and cement, before he ventured into full-scale manufacturing.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Dangote diversified his operation to include trading sugar, flour, fish, rice, milk and iron. After traveling to Brazil to study manufacturing in 1996, Dangote shifted the company’s focus from trading to manufacturing, believing there was an opportunity to create a local operation that would profit from meeting the basic consumer needs of Nigeria’s growing population.

The Dangote Group

The Dangote Group, is the largest conglomerate in West Africa. The Group currently has a presence in 17 African countries and is a market leader in cement on the continent. One of the Group’s subsidiaries, Dangote Cement Plc, is the largest listed company in West Africa and the first Nigerian company to join the Forbes Global 2000 Companies list.

The Group has diversified into other sectors of the Nigerian economy including agriculture and is currently constructing the largest petroleum refinery, petrochemical plant and fertilizer complex in Africa.

Business Leader

Dangote sits on the board of the Corporate Council on Africa and is a member of the Steering Committee of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, the Clinton Global Initiative, the McKinsey Advisory Council, and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum. He was named Co-chair of the US-Africa Business Center, in September 2016, by the US Chamber of Commerce. In April 2017, he joined the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which is helping countries build the systems necessary to provide health services to their people.


In 2013, Forbes listed him as the ‘Most Powerful Man in Africa.’ In April 2014, TIME Magazine listed him among its 100 ‘Most Influential People in the World.’ He also made the list of CNBC’s ‘Top 25 Businessmen in the World’ that changed and shaped the century.

Today, Dangote Group’s main publicly traded businesses — Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, and Nascon Allied Industries — make up about one-third of the market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Aliko Dangote has three daughters and one adopted son. Twice divorced, he lives in Lagos.

Aliko Dangote Foundation

Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF)
is the private charitable foundation of Aliko Dangote. Incorporated in 1994, as Dangote Foundation, with the mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities. 20 years later, the Foundation has become the largest private Foundation in sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor.

The Dangote Group is presently building a 12 Billion dollars petroleum refinery in Lagos, Nigeria


  • $45 Million Aliko dangote Private Jet

Advice to Entrepreneurs

  • Stay Focused
  • Do not spend your projected income.
  • Social life and business do not go hand in hand,

Career Highlight

  • 1977 – Bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1978 – 1997 : Trading
  • 1989 – Textile (6,000+ employees but had to close down)
  • 1997 : Shift to Manufacturing
  • 2003 : Commissioned Africa’s largest cement plant, Obajana.
  • 2014: Lost over $7.8 Billion Dollars in 2014 (Naira Devaluation, Stock Market slum et al)
  • 2014 – Endownment of 1.2 Billion Dollars for the Dangote Foundation

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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