Meet Aliko Dangote, The Richest Black Man: A Biography

Meet Aliko Dangote, The Richest Black Man: A Biography

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote is a household name in Nigeria. Almost everything reminds you of him. From your table salt, sugar, pasta, noodles, and even down to cement.

Related: All you need to know about the Dangote group of companies


Aliko Dangote was born on the 10th of April 1957 in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, British Nigeria which is present-day Nigeria. He was born into a wealthy Muslim home and is Hausa by tribe. He is currently 63 years old.

His father’s name is Mohammed Dangote and his mother is Mariya Sanusi Dantata making Aliko Dangote the great-grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata who was the richest West African man in 1995.


Dangote was enrolled in the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa and later, Capital High School, Kano. He graduated from Government college Birnin kudu and went ahead to acquire a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.

Family life

He was previously married twice and has three adorable daughters and an adopted son. He resides in Lagos State, Nigeria.


aliko dangote

Aliko Dangote’s interest in business began, as far back as primary school. He would go ahead and purchase cartons of candy, popularly known as sweet in Nigeria, and sell them to his classmates just to make money.

He established the Dangote company in the year 1977 and also relocated to Lagos the same way to expand his company.

In 1990, he met with the CBN officials, for a proposal to allow his company to maintain their staff buses and it was successful.

In 2012, he requested a piece of land at the Nigerian ports authority, Apapa Wharf Lagos. This was granted to him, and he made it a base for his flour mill.

The company has since expanded to cover food and consumer products manufacturing, cement manufacturing, freight services, and is now wading into the petrochemical and telecommunications sector. It moved from being a trading company to being the largest and most recognized industrial group in Nigeria. The Dangote group has grown to become a multi-trillion Naira conglomerate with branches in major African countries like Benin Republic, Togo, Zambia, Ghana etcetera.

The Dangote sugar has dominated the sugar market and is currently the largest supplier of sugar to breweries, soft drink companies, and makers of confectionery.

Related: List of products and services of the Dangote group

Besides the aforementioned, the Dangote group deals in salt, flour milling, they also export cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seeds, and ginger to several countries outside Nigeria and Africa. They also function as importers of rice, fish, fertilizer, pasta, and cement. The company also cast their bread on the waters of real estate, transport, textile, banking, and then oil and gas.

The company as the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa gives employment to more than 11,000 Nigerians.

Net worth

Aliko Dangote is worth $10.8 billion. He holds the 162nd billionaire position in the world. He is currently the richest man in Africa.

International scene and philanthropy

Aliko Dangote is a member of the United Nations secretary-generals global education first initiative. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum. Aliko Dangote is the Co-chair of the US-Africa Business Center.

He was conferred the Co-chairship in September 2016, by the US Chamber of Commerce. He is also in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight polio and other issues. In 2017, he became one of the board of directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Aliko Dangote Foundation

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote also has a foundation, the Aliko Dangote foundation which became incorporated in the year 1994. They are fixated on solving issues concerning Health, Education, and humanitarian relief. They also seek to broaden opportunities for economic empowerment.

The Dangote Foundation, in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, seeks to eradicate polio and strengthen routine immunization within Nigeria.

On the Health platform of the foundation, they seek to combat malnutrition and its related diseases and provide access to good water and proper sanitation. The foundation also provided a 54 Gene laboratory to help in the testing for COVID-19.

On the Education platform, the foundation is known to donate money to several institutions. They have currently donated 500 million naira for the development of a business school in Bayero University Kano. They also donated fully equipped classrooms that can contain up to 2,160 students to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria

On Empowerment, the foundation runs a Micro-giant program which is targeted at ameliorating poverty through women empowerment. They have helped women in Kogi State with approximately 230 million naira and are still seeking to help out women in Northern Nigeria.

Using the Humanitarian relief platform, the foundation has helped alleviate the suffering of individuals and communities displaced by ethnic and religious conflict, natural disasters and so much more. In the year 2010, the foundation donated 50 million naira to communities on Jos affected by ethnic and religious conflict. They also intervened with 2 million dollars donated to the world food program, done to assist the citizens of Pakistan who were displaced due to massive flooding.

Awards and recognition

Aliko Dangote has been the recipient of a number of awards in Nigeria and beyond.

In April 2014, he was listed in TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

In the same year 2014, he was named the Forbes Africa Person of the Year.

Forbes listed him as the ‘Most Powerful Man in Africa’ for six consecutive years, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

He was listed as one of the Top 25 Businessmen in the World’ that changed and shaped the century by CNBC in 2014.

Bloomberg markets in October 2015 listed him among ’50 Most Influential Individuals in the World’.

He won ‘The Guardian Man of the Year 2015’ Award.

He also won the ‘2016 African Business Leader Award,’ organized by the Africa-America Institute.

Aliko Dangote was awarded Grand Commander Order of the Nigerian which is the second-highest honor in Nigeria, by the then President, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.



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