From taking a borrowed amount to the richest person in the entire African continent: The story of Aliko Dangote

From taking a borrowed amount to the richest person in the entire African continent The story of Aliko Dangote
Pic: Wikipedia

Being the richest man in country is one thing but being the richest man in the entire continent is something else and such is the story of Aliko Dangote, the richest man in the whole of Africa due to his investments in various commodities through his brand known as Dangote group an international conglomerate that diversified into foods and beverages, plastics manufacturing, real estate, logistics, telecommunications, steel, oil and gas. Aliko Dangote has made himself the richest man in the African descent.

Here is his life summary.

Early life

Aliko Dangote was born in Nigeria, into a prominent business family. Aliko’s great grandfather, Alhaji Alhassan Danata was the richest man in Nigeria in his time. Aliko is an conservative Muslim hausa from the Kano state.

Business minded

Even though, Aliko was born into a wealthy family and growing up living a luxury lifestyle, he was very business minded when he was a child. He would buy cartons of sugar boxes and sell them just to make money.


For his early life schooling, Aliko Dangote went to an Arabic school and the Capital high school in Kano. For further studies, Aliko went to a college in Egypt where he pursued a course in Business studies from Al-Azhar University.

Early career

Aliko Dangote started his early career from a loan amount his uncle gave him. Aliko borrowed some amount from his uncle in order to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria and gradually, Aliko’s first business venture became highly successful and he managed to repay the entire loan to his uncle back and that too within three months of starting operations.

Dangote Group

The loan amount Dangote borrowed from his uncle had worked for him as a lucky charm. Dangote’s hard work and dedication made him successful and also the wealthiest man in the African continent. The business that he started to build more than three decades ago is now known as the Dangote group, one of the largest private sector employees in Nigeria as well as the most valuable conglomerate in West Africa. 

Cutting out the Middleman

Dangote realized that acting as a middleman can proved to be very costly and so he built a plant to produce what he had been importing and selling. His company began to produce pasta, sugar, salt and flour and significantly expanded the operations of the company by constructing a multi-million dollar manufacturing plant.

Expanding the Empire

Dangote has the perfect strategy and rule to run his business empire. Whatever profits Dangote earned from his business, he prefers to invests the majority of his profits again into the business and the only reason, Dangote Group is on a high and so successful. Dangote’s efforts had led him on to a top place.

Different path

Unlike other Nigerians who made their fortune in oil, Dangote chose for a different path. Instead of dealing directly with oil, Dangote purchased an oil refinery in Lagos which will significantly reduce Nigeria’s reliance on international suppliers for oil and gas. The plant will produce half a million barrels of oil a day.

Bottom line

For many years, Dangote imported soft commodities and resold them in his community. Dangote later ceased importing items and began to manufacture his own products. The financial assistance offered to him for his business turned into many new segments and made him the richest person on the entire African continent.


Dangote believes that to build a big business, it always must be started from small and whatever is been done, strive to be the best at it. Dangote has done a lot for his people and keep continuing to do so with a thought to create more and more jobs for his community and his people.

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