For the 12th year consecutively, Aliko Dangote, President of the pan-African Conglomerate, the Dangote Group has emerged as the richest man in Africa, despite economic headwinds that affected the fortunes of half of the world’s reported billionaires.
Dangote, whose business flagship, Dangote Cement Plc is the largest producer of cement in Africa, is the only Nigerian in the list of first 200 richest men in the world with an estimated net worth of $14.2 billion, up from last year’s $12.1 billion.
Forbes, in its latest ranking of world billionaires for 2023 reported that falling stocks, wounded unicorns, and rising interest rates translated into a down year for the world’s wealthiest people.
Dangote, presently ranked 124th among the world’s richest billionaires, is the only Nigerian in the top 200 world billionaires and one of the two Africans within that bracket; with South Africa’s Johann Rupert, who deals in luxury goods ranked 157th with a net worth of $11.1 billion.
Africa’s richest man founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. Dangote Cement has a production capacity of 51.6 million tonnes per year across ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with integrated factories in seven countries, a clinker grinding plant in Cameroon, and import and distribution facilities in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
Dangote also owns stakes in publicly traded Dangote Salt (NASCON) and Dangote Sugar manufacturing companies. His Dangote Petroleum Refinery, touted to be the world’s largest single-train refinery, was recently commissioned and is expected to process 650,000 bpd of petroleum for domestic consumption and export; in what experts have described as a game changer in the oil and gas sector.
The foremost philanthropist had earlier been rated 11th of the 50 World’s Greatest Men and Women of all Time by the Fortune Magazine, an American multinational business magazine which premised the ranking of the world’s greatest mainly on the businesses run by the men and how they have used it to impact their society positively.
The time-tested magazine, which first edition was published in February 1930, said the world’s greatest men and women are transforming the world and inspiring others to do so in business, government, philanthropy, and the arts. “These thinkers, speakers, and doers make bold choices and take big risks- and move others to do the same”, the magazine declared.
Specifically, Dangote earned a nomination after being adjudged as having used his business to acquire wealth and is now converting his wealth into impactful philanthropy through his Aliko Dangote Foundation.
The top 10 greatest men and women, according to Fortune Magazine are Bill and Melinda Gates, Jacinda Ardern, Robert Mueller, Pony Ma, Satya Nadella, Greta Thunberg, Margrethe Vestager, Anna Nimiriano, Jose Andres, Dough Mcmillon and Lisa Woods.
The ranking of Dangote as one of the greatest business leaders had attracted comments from eminent persons around the world who described him as worthy of the nomination going by his business acumen and philanthropic gestures.
On the billionaires ranking for 2023, Forbes, the global media company said nearly half the world’s richest list is poorer than a year ago, including Elon Musk with a net worth of $180b, falling from No. 1 to No. 2 after his pricey acquisition of Twitter helped sink Tesla, his multinational automotive and clean energy company.
Benard Arnault, the 74-year-old French, who is the head of luxury goods giant LVMH, was ranked number one richest man in the world with a net worth of $211b, the very first time a France national will top the list.
Forbes reported that the party is over for many of the world’s richest people. For the second straight year, the number of billionaires around the globe has declined from 2,668 in 2022 to 2,640 in 2023 and total billionaire wealth has dropped, too – down by $500 billion, to $12.2 trillion – as turbulent times have hit both public and private markets.
Nearly half the planet’s billionaires are poorer than they were a year ago. A total of 254 people have lost their billionaire status altogether yet others recorded gains.
Overall, the United States still boasts the most billionaires, with 735 list members worth a collective $4.5 trillion. China (including Hong Kong and Macau) remains second, with 562 billionaires worth $2 trillion, followed by India, with 169 billionaires worth $675 billion. To calculate net worths, Forbes used stock prices and exchange rates from March 10, 2023.