Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote has influenced many people in the business world over the years. His diligence and passion for success are enviably notable. Known as the largest producer of cement in Africa, Dangote has a net worth of $13.5 billion, according to Forbes.
A closer look at his portfolio brings his networking skills to the fore. In one of his quotes, the African billionaire said “I keep telling people you cannot clap with one hand. you need two hands to clap. you need cooperation between investors and people in government, for them first to understand what you are up to and for you to also understand what they (the government) are up to.”
The billionaire whose business cut across different nations prioritises relationships. In this article, we’ll spotlight some of the power players in his network that have contributed to Dangote’s business journey. Some of them include:
Dangote’s friendship with the oil magnate, Femi Otedola has been described as a relationship made in heaven. According to Forbes, Femi Otedola is the controlling shareholder of publicly traded Forte Oil, an oil marketing and power generation company. The relationship started 25 years ago after Dangote moved out of his uncle’s place to Surulere, Lagos where he met Otedola.
The duo have built a relationship beyond individual boundaries, extending to their families. This is reflected in how they both attend family and business events together. It was also gathered that their friendship was further solidified when Otedola’s father became the Governor of Lagos in the third republic. Their support for each other is also clearly visible for all to see.
Reports say Otedola was the first person to arrive in Kano when Dangote lost his younger brother. On the flip side, Dangote was actively present and right beside Otedola when he organised a birthday party for his mother. Both friends control businesses with similar holdings in real estate, energy, oil, agriculture and construction. Otedola, who is younger than Dangote, respects him and receives business advice from him. Also, Dangote respects and celebrates Otedola’s successes and achievements. Reports say the duo notably combines resources when they wish to establish a project of national relevance. Their relationship which has continued for over 25 years is not void of its differences. But, they have been able to put their difference aside and soar together.
Dangote’s relationship cuts across different continents. This comes as Bill Gates openly spoke about his meeting with the African mogul in 2019. Ranked No 3 on Forbes 400 in 2022, Bill Gates announced on gatesnotes.com that he had a lot of things in common with the African mogul. The duo started their business in the late 1970s, and both own a foundation aimed at improving health and education. Gates who noted that their meeting marked the beginning of a fruitful friendship, revealed that their foundations announced a joint, five-year $100 million commitment to reducing malnutrition in Nigeria. Gates expressed delight at the thought of having Dangote as a friend and a partner.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
Dangote’s network is not just limited to business alone, it also expands to those in government. In one of his interviews, Dangote revealed that Obasanjo was instrumental in the success of his cement business. He credited the advent of his cement production to a conversion held between the duo months after the 1999 presidential election. Obasanjo who wanted to know why Nigeria couldn’t produce cement questioned Dangote in a meeting. He later agreed to Dangote’s suggestion to restrict the importation of cement. And that was how cement production began. Reports also suggest that Dangote also contributed financially to Obasanjo’s 1999 campaign and subsequent reelection in 2003.
Davido (David Adeleke)
Africa’s richest man also has a relationship with the Nigerian musician David Adeleke. The Singer in a podcast revealed that Dangote drove him from the hospital when he was born. Owing to his rich family background, the Nigerian Singer has treasured his relationship with the African mogul. Davido further revealed that Dangote never ceases to counsel him to save his money. His relationship with Davido shows that the Billionaire is not limited to a particular sector.
Monica Katebe Musonda
Known as the founder of Java Foods Limited, Mosunda runs the first food processing company in Zambia. Monica worked with Dangote as an in-house corporate counsel. The Zambian entrepreneur revealed that Dangote’s question during one of his visits to a Zambia cement plant challenged her to launch Zambia’s first instant noodle brand. Reports say Dangote asked her why the number of Zambian-owned banks, insurance companies, or equipment/raw material suppliers was almost non-existent. Rather than answering the question, Monica was inspired to own her industry. She quit her legal career, sourced funds from friends and relatives, and contracted a Chinese company to begin a food processing company. In a session with Trevo, Musonda narrated what it means to work for Africa’s richest man.
Abdul Samad Rabiu’s journey to becoming one of Africa’s wealthiest magnates is…