Aliko Dangote, everyone aspires to be him. It is almost impossible to talk about wealth and business in this part of the world without his name coming up. There are people out there who would not mind finding a way into his mind, just to a sneak peak at his wealth of knowledge and thriving business ethics. Born on the 10th of April 1957 into a wealthy family in Kano, Dangote has always had a keen eye for business.
There is so much to learn about this business tycoon but here are five facts about him that will interest you.
1. He was born with a silver spoon
Dangote was born into a wealthy Muslim family, well known for their prominence in business. He is the great grand son of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest African at the time of his death in 1955.
2. He is a philanthropist
It is not well known, but Aliko Dangote is quite the philanthropist as well as a remarkable entrepreneur. Despite his highly competitive business mind, his controversial political decisions, and his very uncharitable nature towards competitors, Dangote still finds the time and money to donate to a foundation he set up 20 years ago, The Dangote Foundation. So far, The Dangote Foundation has distributed over $100 million USD to charitable causes in Nigeria and throughout Africa. The foundation supports a variety of causes, but places great emphasis on education, health, and forwarding the youth of Africa, especially Nigeria. To back up these statements, The Dangote Foundation has donated 1 billion Naira to Nigerian universities; half of this went on the development of a business school in Bayero University. The Dangote Foundation is also known for its partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eliminate Polio in Nigeria. There was also a donation of £2 million USD made by the foundation to the World Food Programme, to aid Pakistan after the horrendous floods of 2010.
3. He gets about 3 hours of sleep daily
While you are in bed enjoying your blissful sleep, Dangote is up strategizing and brainstorming on how to grow his business. Reports have it that he sleeps by 2:00 am and wakes up by 5:00 am everyday.
4. Dangote is very involved in politics but he is not partisan
A lot of the controversy and accusations surrounding Aliko Dangote is regarding preferential treatment he gets through his role in political campaigns. A lot of people are oblivious to the fact that Dagote was a major contributing factor to the re-election of the former president of Nigeria in 2003. During Obasanjo’s re-election bid, Aliko Dangote supported the campaign with a whooping 200 million Naira. In addition to this extremely generous donation, Dongate also contributed 250 million Naira into various public amenities such as the National Mosque and the Presidential Library, using the alias ‘Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku’. He has no soft spot for Obasanjo as Dangote has reportedly supported every Nigerian president there has been during his business career. In return, Dangote would receive favors, such as the favorable import bans and exclusive import rights that he enjoys.
Dangote has a lot of awards and accolades to his names. He was named the Forbes Person of the year in 2014. In 2013, Aliko Dangote, alongside six other prominent Nigerians were conferred Honorary Citizenship of Arkansas State by Governor Mike Beebe who also declared May 30 of every year as Nigeria Day in the US. In the year 2011, he was awarded the second highest honour, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by former president Goodluck Jonathan.