Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote wows SA
Aliko Dangote’s empire was built on imports, but he now favours protectionist policies to stimulate local manufacturing. The Nigerian cement king’s latest project is to build the world’s largest oil refinery
"I started hustling in primary school," says Africa’s richest man, a soft-spoken Nigerian billionaire whose iconic status reaches far beyond his home nation. Aliko Dangote, whose riches were built on commodities trading, arrived at a closed-door event hosted by Barack Obama in Johannesburg last week to a reception that rivalled the former US president’s own rapturous welcome. Then, in a panel discussion with Trevor Manuel and John Collison, Dangote had to field almost all the questions from the crowd of 200 young "Obama Foundation leaders". SA’s former finance minister and the Irish co-founder of Stripe, who in 2016 became the world’s youngest self-made dollar billionaire, were reduced to sideshows. Dangote, whose net worth of $12.4bn makes him the 100th richest person in the world according to Forbes, says he’s been "testing money for a very long time". In his early school days, he sold sweets that he bought with his pocket money. Those trading skills put him in good stead for a fo...
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