Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, has retained his position as Africa’s richest man for the third year in a row. Dangote, whose net-worth climbs to $16.1 billion by end of March from $12 billion of last year, is also 43rd richest man in the world.
The past year has been eventful for Dangote who in October sold off a controlling stake in his flour milling company to Tiger Brands of South Africa. He pocketed $190 million in cash.
In February, his Dangote Sugar Refineries acquired a 95 percent stake in Nigerian sugar producer, Savannah Sugar, in a bid to maintain its dominant position in the Nigerian sugar industry. Dangote stepped up his philanthropy in the past year, giving over $100 million to causes ranging from education to health, flood relief, poverty alleviation and the arts. He also acquired a yacht, which he named after his mother, Amiya.
Dangote started building his fortune more than three decades ago when he began trading in commodities like cement, flour and sugar with a loan he received from his maternal uncle.
He delved into full production of these items in the early 2000s and went on to build the Dangote Group, West Africa’s largest publicly-listed conglomerate, which now owns sugar refineries, salt processing facilities and Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. A fitness buff, Dangote jogs everyday.