If you are in Africa or anywhere on the globe, the chances are that the thought of who is Africa’s richest man or who has got the most money in Africa has crossed your mind. If that is the case, then the name DANGOTE is probably not new to you. Well, if you have no idea of who Dangote is, we have got you covered. As to the time this article is being written, Dangote has a wealth estimated at US$8.3 billion and is the 162nd richest man in the world, according to Forbes. In this article, I will tell you from my researches how you can achieve financial freedom like Dangote. He is Africa’s richest man and by far one of the most successful businessmen on the continent.
Why Should you Care About Dangote?
Alhaji Aliko Dangote was born on April 10, 1957, in Nigeria from a very wealthy family. His grandfather was at the time of his death in 1955, the wealthiest West-African. Dangote has been very business inclined from an early age. In an interview, he said :
‘I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets candy, and I would start selling just to make money.’
After schooling in Nigeria, he had his bachelor’s degree in Business Studies and Administration from Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Aliko Dangote has three daughters and an adoptive son.
His business career started when he decided to take a loan of $3,000 from his uncle to start a small trading company at age 21, buying goods from outside Nigeria and bringing them for consumption. Now his small trading company has grown into one the biggest conglomerate in Africa and particularly the most significant industrial conglomerate in West-Africa. The Dangote Group has operations in about ten (10) African countries. Their activities are not only limited to cement as popularly known but range from sugar, breweries, soft drink, and even real estate. Dangote also has investments in transport, textiles, oil, and gas.
Does he have controversies around him?
The road taken to achieve financial freedom like Dangote is not an easy one. Dangote’s life has its dose of controversy as well. African wealthiest man is trendy for his political contributions. One of the biggest, he offered was a US$2 million financial contribution to the re-election bid of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003. Many have named his group a monopoly in Nigeria backed by financial support from political parties throughout the years.
Outside the business world, Aliko Dangote has been known for his very generous contributions and his involvement in many charitable endeavors. His most significant contribution is US$1.2 billion, towards his foundation, the Aliko Dangote Foundation. He also donated money for the construction of the national stadium in Abuja, $750,000 to help fight Ebola, and recently $5 million to help fight Covid-19. Internationally, he is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight polio and other issues. Aliko Dangote also sits on the Board of the Corporate Council of Africa and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Aliko Dangote was awarded Nigeria’s second-highest honor, the Grand Commander of Order of the Niger. Forbes also named Aliko Dangote person of the year in 2014 and Africa most powerful man for six consecutive years (2013 to 2018).
As plans, Dangote is currently building an oil refinery, which will be among the world’s biggest. In many interviews, he mentioned that part of his ambitions is to acquire the England football club, Arsenal.
So what could we learn from the experiences and achievements of Dangote, that could be useful to us?
So what can you actually learn from him?
1- Thinking long-term to achieve financial freedom.
It’s one of the most mentioned themes in business and life, but very few of us apply it. There is no overnight success. We need to plan in the long term and be consistent with our execution. Then only will come success.
2- Don’t try to do everything.
Dangote, in many interviews, said that he doesn’t invest in what he does not understand. There are so many opportunities in this world, and trying to jump on all of them will make you unfocused. It’s better to do a few things very well than trying to do everything.
3 – Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Dangote understands this better than anybody in Africa. Knowing that what you are excelling in now can one day become irrelevant in the market place, should push you into searching for areas of diversification for your job or your business.
4- Support your community and empower others.
Dangote’s philanthropic organization is one of the biggest on the continent. It’s his way of giving back to the society that allowed him to have the wealth he has now. So when you make it don’t forget others.
So you think Dangote will remain the richest man in Africa for the next time? What can you do from now in your life to achieve financial freedom like Dangote?
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