Aliko Dangote GCON (born 10 April 1957) is a Nigerian billionaire, who owns the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities. The company operates in Nigeria and other African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia. As of January 2015, he had an estimated net worth of US$18.6 billion.
Born in Kano, his grandfather, the late Alhaji Sanusi Dantata provided him with a small capital to start his own business, as was the practice then. He thus started business in Kano in 1977 trading in commodities and also building supplies.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote moved to Lagos in June 1977 and persisted in trading cement and commodities. Encouraged by tremendous success and increase in business activities, he incorporated two companies in 1981. These as well as others that followed now make up the conglomerate known as The Dangote Group.
As the CEO of the eponymous Dangote group, Dangote is the richest person of African descent in the world from Nigeria. Contributing to the development of Nigeria with the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa, the Dangote Group employs upwards of 11,000 people, dealing with industries such as sugar refining, flour mills, food distribution, and cement. Also a heavy contributor to political parties in the region, Dangote’s businesses account for one-fourth of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
As a nonpartisan and detribalized businessperson, he is generous to different political parties, religious groups and cultural institutions.
Apart from offering employment opportunities to elite graduates from different ethnic backgrounds, he reduces the level of crime by engaging youths who are school leavers in the area of transportation, product packaging, security amidst others.