Aliko Dangote is the Nigerian businessman who owns the Dangote Group. This is important because this makes him the single richest individual in Africa at around $11.1 billion as of May of 2019. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Aliko Dangote:
1. Member of the Hausa
Dangote is a member of the Hausa people, which is the biggest of the numerous ethnic groups that can be found on the continent of Africa. The Hausa live in a wide range of places under a wide range of circumstances. but continue to retain a number of important commonalities. One excellent example is how the Hausa continue to speak the Hausa language, while another excellent example is how 99 percent of the Hausa are followers of Sunni Islam.
2. Comes From Kano, Kano State
Background-wise, Dangote comes from Kano, which is the state capital of Kano State situated in the Sahel region that separates the Sahara from the Sudanian Savannah. Kano is something of a commercial center for the whole of Northern Nigeria, not least because its strategic location makes it a critical hub in the surrounding region's transportation networks.
3. Comes From a Rich Background
Dangote comes from a rich background. In particular, it should be mentioned that he is the great-grandson of Alhassan Dantata, who is believed to have been the single richest individual in West Africa by the time of his passing. To a considerable extent, this was made possible by the man's European connections, which helped him out when interacting with European companies.
4. Has Been Known to Finance the Hajj of Other Muslims
It is interesting to note that Dangote has inherited some of the habits of his great-grandfather. For instance, he has been known to finance the Hajj for other Muslims, which is something that he shares with not just Alhassan Dantata but also some of Alhassan Dantata's other descendants. Those who are unfamiliar with the term should know that the Hajj refers to the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are obligated to undertake at least once in their lifetime so long as they possess the physical capability as well as the financial means needed to get there. Unsurprisingly, this means that the Hajj is very, very important, so much so that there are studies concluding that Muslim communities that have experienced it become more positive, more tolerant, and more peace-minded,
5. Very Business-Minded
With that said, Dangote is very business-minded in his own right. For example, he has stated that when he was a child, he bought candies so that he could pass them on to other people to sell so that he could pocket the profits. Likewise, when Dangote was at the age of 21, he borrowed $3,000 from his uncle so that he could invest the sum into the importing of agricultural commodities. Something that became so successful so fast that he managed to pay back the full sum within a matter of three months.
6. Has a Bachelor's Degree From Al-Azhar University
Education-wise, Dangote has a bachelor's degree for business studies as well as business administration from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. In short, Al-Azhar University is the school associated with the Al-Azhar Mosque, which was commissioned in 970. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Al-Azhar University is one of the most prestigious schools that can be found in the Sunni Muslim world, not least because it is one of the first universities ever founded that has nonetheless managed to survive into the present time.
7. The Dangote Group Is a True Conglomerate
There can be no doubt about the fact that the Dangote Group is a true conglomerate. For example, it started out in trade. However, it has since managed to become a major player in a number of industries, with examples ranging from food processing to cement manufacturing. Moreover, the Dangote Group has considerable investments in banking, textiles, telecommunications, real estate, and other sectors as well.
8. Donated a Sizable Sum to Combat Recent Ebola Outbreak
Dangote donated about 150 million Nigerian naira to set up an emergency operation center for the purpose of combating ebola in 2014. At the time, there was plenty of concern in developed countries because of fear that the hemorrhagic fever would spread to them. However, it was developing countries that got hit the hardest, which makes sense because developing countries have much weaker institutions than their developed counterparts, meaning that they are less effective at mounting the kind of large-scale effort needed to ensure the best results under such circumstances.
9. Cement Is the Bedrock of His Business Empire
Cement has been called the bedrock of Dangote's business empire. Unsurprisingly, this means that Dangote's cement factories churn out a huge volume of the stuff, so much so that a single one out of the three can produce enough to fill 1,000 trucks on a daily basis. Something that isn't even taking into consideration Dangote's plans for further expanding them beyond their current production capabilities.
10. Looking Into Oil
With that said, what might be most interesting is that Dangote is looking into oil. In short, Nigeria possesses considerable oil reserves, which are under-tapped in the sense that there are just four not particularly efficient state-owned refineries operating at the moment. Dangote has stated that once his refinery becomes operational in 2020, its operations could save Nigeria the need to import much of its fuel in spite of its oil reserves, which is a pretty important consideration when the country still suffers from blackouts on a regular basis. There is some doubt about whether Dangote will be able to meet his own schedule or not, but if he succeeds, he stands to further cement his status in Nigeria and beyond.
Written by Allen Lee
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