Every year since 2011, Bloomberg publishes ‘50 Most Influential People’, a list composed of 50 individuals who have the “ability to move markets or shape ideas and policies”.
Bloomberg markets says the list is created on the basis of recommendations and assessments by Bloomberg journalists based in 150 bureaus around the globe.
In 2017 Bloomberg’s ‘50 Most Influential People’ only one African, Aliko Dangote, was featured.
Dangote, also dubbed ‘the quiet millionaire’ is known for his economic advancements which have contributed highly to helping his country of over 180 million people to depend less on importing food stuff.
Speaking at an economic summit in the United Kingdom in October, Dangote urged the African continent to make conscious decision to work towards self sufficiency instead of relying on importing basic needs on a daily basis.
“Are we going to continue to import everything? Freight rates are now cheap but they will go up soon. A population of over 200 million cannot continue to import basic needs on a daily basis,” he was quoted by CNBC Africa.
Before venturing into cement production, which has mints him million of shillings and employs thousands, Nigeria was the second largest importer of cement after the US. Today, “we have not only satisfied domestic needs; we have become a leading exporter of 6-7M tonnes of cement,” he added.
Additionally, Dangote is diversifying into agriculture. Dangote group has invested heavily in rice production. He has created a system that supports local farmers to cultivate the crop, and later offers to buy it back. He is optimistic that soon, they will feed Nigeria and the rest of West African market. Moreover, he has eyes on dairy farming; a sector he feels is lucrative. Nigeria imports 98% of all the milk consumed in the country.
The President of the Dangote Group of companies is also looking at spending as “much as $50 billion in the next decade on renewable energy and petrochemical refineries, including investments in the U.S. and Europe” the Paul Wallace wrote in the Bloomberg’s review.
He also runs a foundation which has pledged to invest $100 Million in over five years to tackle malnutrition in the worst affected parts of Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s high malnutrition rate is undermining progress towards improving child health and survival and putting the brakes on economic development,” said Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
Aliko Dangote is the only African on Bloomberg’s ‘50 Most Influential People’
Image: World Economic Forum