Aliko Dangote (born 10 April 1957) is a Nigerian business magnate. He is the chairman and CEO of Dangote Group, an industrial conglomerate and the wealthiest person in Africa, as of January 2022.
Dangote was born in Kano, Kano State into a wealthy Hausa family, the son of Mohammed Dangote and Mariya Sanusi Dantata,the daughter of Sanusi Dantata. He is the great-grandson of Alhassan Dantata, the richest West African at the time of his death in 1955.
Dangote was educated at the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa, followed by Capital High School, Kano. In 1978, he graduated from the Government College, Birnin Kudu. He received a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo
The Dangote Group was established as a small trading firm in 1977, the same year Dangote relocated to Lagos to expand the company. Today, it is one of the largest conglomerates in Africa with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Togo. Dangote has expanded to cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. The Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major supplier to the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. The Dangote Group has moved from being a trading company to be the largest industrial group in Nigeria including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour.
In Nigeria today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70 percent of the market) to the country’s soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement, and fertiliser. The company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seeds, and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles, oil, and gas. The company employs more than 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.
In the 1990s, he approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with the idea that it would be cheaper for the bank to allow his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses. In July 2012, Dangote approached the Nigerian Ports Authority to lease an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was approved. He later built facilities for his flour company there.
In February 2022, Dangote announced the completion of Peugeot assembling facility in Nigeria following his partnership with Stellantis Group, the parent company of Peugeot, the Kano and Kaduna state government. The new automobile company, Dangote Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria Limited (DPAN) factory which is based in Kaduna commenced operations with the roll-out of Peugeot 301, Peugeot 5008, 3008, 508 and Land Trek. He also donated money to the Nigeria sport ministry to renovate the national stadium, Abuja.
Dangote reportedly added $9.2 billion to his personal wealth in 2013, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the thirtieth-richest person in the world at the time, and the richest person in Africa.
In 2014, the Nigerian government said Dangote had donated 150 million naira (US$750,000) to halt the spread of Ebola. In March 2020, he donated 200 million naira (US$500,000) towards the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.