The Richest African in the world Aliko Dangote
The Richest black person in the world is Aliko Dangote with an estimated net worth of $ 16.7 billion as of March 2016. He is the founder of the Dangote Group which has various operations in Nigeria and several other countries. Dangote Cement is Africa’s largest cement manufacturer with over 26,000 employees in Nigeria. The company is building cement plants in Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa and Sengal. Aliko Dangote has been planning on listing Dangote cement on the London stock exchange. There were rumours about this from 2012 and the company is currently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of $ 15.8bn, making it the largest company on the Nigerian Stock market by market capitalisation.
To protect this vast fortune in a Country as unrefined as Nigeria, the Dangote affiliation has gone to extreme lengths to protect the reputation of the company, even when people shit on it, which is literally what happened in Gboko, March 2014. A young man named Terhile Jirbo relieved himself in a bush after playing snooker near one of Dangote’s factories, but the place was commonly used as a toilet. A soldier manning one of the security posts inside the factory saw what happened and ordered Jorbo to pick the mess up with his mouth or risk getting shot, Jirbo said he wanted to use his hands so the soldier shot him in his mouth. The bullet tore his mouth open and threw him to the ground, but he jumped up quick, ran away and collapsed nearby.
This was one attack out of many where soldiers in that area have been harassing residents for a while. Incensed, understandably, dozens of youth gathered at the factory protesting and insulting the soldiers for hours. At this point the protestors began to question why government soldiers were sent to protect a private company and verbalised this. It’s like having SAS guarding Marks and Spencers in Dartford. The soldiers got increasingly riled up and started shooting people, bullets were hitting people in the back and a woman was shot in the head point blank. Six men and one woman died , dozens injured and the spread of devastation through families and friends will live on forever. The Dangote cement factory agreed to pay compensation to the families of the dead victims and injured.
There are still parts of the world where the sanctity of life seems to have little value, but yet corporations and business enterprise can create huge fiscal returns. There are around 170 million people living in Nigeria, and 57 million people living there don’t have access to safe water. Over 130 million don’t have access to adequate sanitation and two hundred thousand people die from AIDs. We can see how desperation and disease must be on the fringes of the mindset of millions. Making one wrong choice can set you back lifetimes in Nigeria so people in all situations will do anything to keep themselves from becoming victims of their environment. They will protect corporations, to the extreme, even if the corporation wouldn’t want them to. The creation of a predatory environment comes from limiting resources, and inducing fear, and as a result the evolved psyche of a human changes. Irrationality can easily breed in these environments.
Nigeria is ranked 15th in world in oil production and for years has been a member of OPEC. The richest black man in the world lives in Nigeria and yet 4.4 million Nigerians are effected by starvation. I am in no way saying this is the responsibility or the fault of Dangote, because it’s not. I am merely making an observation about the huge disparity between the super rich and the dying in Nigeria, which is having cataclysmic cerebral effects on the population. Talk about crabs in the barrel. The natural resources of the Country are being utilised by the sharper minds who have processed the abundance of African commodities and turned it into multi-national businesses. The wealth is extremely concentrated and as a by-product the scraps are left for the chickens to fight for. Every now and then the wolves arise on the scene and tear the chickens apart. This can come in the form of a government soldier or as a terrorist, but the results are the same and the circle of accumulation and devastation continues. Its good to see a company that has employed so many African people and has given back so much to society strive on the global forefront. The company is still trying to grow and Nigeria definitely has a framework for business development. The next African Billionaires will have to come from sustainable technologies, something that is accessible by most people no matter how rich they are. For now, Aliko Dangote reigns supreme.