President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has significantly moved up in the World billionaires’ list as he emerged 64th richest person in the world, with an estimated worth of $16.6 billion, as against his previous ranking of 103rd in the world.
Aliko Dangote’s $17 billion net worth makes the Nigerian the richest person in Africa and the only member of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index from one of the 60 poorest countries.
About half of Nigeria’s 190.9 million citizens subside on less than $1.90 a day, giving it a Gini coefficient (a measure of wealth distribution) of 48.8, compared with 41.5 for the U.S. and 29.2 for Sweden.
Dangote, 61, is among just a few Nigerian billionaires, most of whom accrued their wealth by coming into possession of lucrative oil blocks or, in the case of telecom magnate Mike Adenuga, providing services to a fast-growing population. Adenuga, the nation’s second-richest person, owns mobile phone network Globacom Ltd., with 45 million subscribers.
Dangote’s estimated worth in the latest Bloomberg ranking far outstrips an earlier ranking by Forbes Magazine, another elite publication which placed his fortune at $10.8bn in the 2019 Forbes Africa’s Billionaires’ list released in January, although he retained the rank as the richest African for the 8th consecutive year in the latter ranking.
There are only five Africans on the Bloomberg list of the world’s top 500 billionaires, with Dangote topping the group. The other four Africans included Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who was ranked No. 216 with an estimated worth of $7.05 billion; Johann Rupert of South Africa (ranked No. 225 with an estimated worth of $6.92bn); and Natie Kash of South Africa (ranked No. 263 with an estimated worth of $6.10bn). The fifth and last African on the list of 500 HNW individuals was Naguib Sawiris of Egypt, ranked No. 331 with an estimated fortune of $5.12bn.
Africa’s richest man, with his improved worth of $16.6 billion, controls Dangote Industries, a closely held conglomerate. The Lagos, Nigeria-based company owns sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest cement producer, Dangote Cement, which had revenue of N805.6 billion naira ($2.4 billion) in 2017. It also has interests in sugar, salt, flour, fertiliser and packaged food.