ALIKO DANGOTE: Pillar of African Economy, Youth Empowerment & Scandal-free Billionaire Extraordinaire
*QUOTE: “A wise person should have money in their heads, but not in their hearts”-Jonathan Swift
“HAPPINESS is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort,” stated Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of United States of America (March 4, 1933- April 12, 1945).
Undeniably, his story is very inspiration, motivating and encouraging, showing that happiness truly lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort when a man consistently fix his gaze on his vision, hardworking, godly and refused to be distracted by the mundane trivialities and vicissitudes of life.
Aliko Dangote, now Africa’s richest multibillionaire at the then age of 21 years in Kano State, Northern Nigeria had his eyes set on creativity, hardwork and industrialization. This burning desire in business revolution led him to borrow the sum of $3,000 from his uncle as at that time to sell and import agricultural commodities in Nigeria. His business venture became an instant success. And as a result repaid the loan within three months.
Ever after, this number one billionaire in Nigeria and 71st most powerful person in the world never looked back. He had been steadily growing his Dangote business module, which today has grown to become Dangote Group with branches in food, cements and interests in other commodities. Today, Dangote Group operates in Nigeria and other African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia.
At the age of 58 years now, with real time net worth $15.8 billion going by Forbes Magazine 29th December, 2015 edition, this richest African billionaire in 2014 and this year ensured his company-Dangote Group provided the highest form of employment for millions of African youths in his business empires in Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, Zambia and now Zimbabwe, more than any single individual in Africa.
In ensuring that youths in Zimbabwe are not left out of his global empowerment of hiring round pegs in round holes, Dangote plans to invest $400 million in constructing a cement plant in Zimbabwe soonest.
According to Dangote while addressing journalists in Harare recently: “We have already decided to invest into Zimbabwe, that’s why we are here. Any country where you see us visiting it means, yes, we’ve decided to invest. If government permission is granted, construction on the cement plant will begin during the first quarter of 2016. When completed, the plant will produce 1.5 million tonnes of cement a year.”
Dangote’s proposed investment in Zimbabwe could be a major economic boost for the southern African country that is currently grappling with a slump in metal prices and a severe drought that has badly affected its agriculture sector. Agriculture and the mining industry are Zimbabwe’s most important sources of revenue.
It is on record that in 2015 his Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer, launched new cement plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia and Tanzania. In total, Dangote Cement produces more than 30 million metric tons annually, with a plan to double capacity by 2018. Dangote owns nearly 91% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company; this percentage exceeds the 80% ownership ceiling set by the Nigerian Stock Exchange. A note in Dangote Cement’s 2014 annual report states that “controlling shareholder Dangote Industries Limited has continued to reduce its holding in Dangote Cement towards the NSE-required level of 80% or less” but Dangote doesn’t appear to have sold many shares this year. Other companies in the Dangote Group – which is active in 15 African countries – include publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
Dangote is aggressively expanding his cement company across Africa. In June, he launched a 2.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) cement plant in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, and commissioned a $250 million factory in Cameroun.
Till date, Dangote remains the most famous and highly revered Africa’s richest businessman, so humble, focused and has no form of scandal trailing him, neither did he involve himself in politics, but his burning passion has always been, still is: “investing in Africa, building the right team and empowering the people by creating jobs for them.”
This 67 richest man in the world is happily married, blessed with three children, studied Bachelor of Arts/Science at Al-Azhar University and his parents are: Mohammed Dangote and Hajiya Mariya Sanusi Dangote.
Unanimously, Dangote is seeing and believed to be the major stimulant growing the African economy by towering high as ‘Pillar of African Economy, empowering the youths through consistent job creation and having a scandal-free billionaire extraordinaire status’.
It is in view of these rare, unparalleled accomplishments that Editorial Board and Directors of Naija Standard Newspapers, one of the award-wining, multiple online news wires in Nigeria in celebrating its 3rd Year Anniversary chose Aliko Dangote as our ‘Person of the Year 2015’