Wealth means different things to different people.
However, there is a global system of ranking for wealth. Wealth as used here refers to the net worth or value of a person.
What readily comes to mind are notable billionaires such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Carlos Slim among many richest men in the world.
Who Is The Richest Black Man In The World?
For this article, we are narrowing our focus as we consider the wealthiest black man alive.
There is a global ranking system for wealthy persons with Forbes being the major authority in revealing who the wealthiest people are.
So who is the richest black man alive?
Read on as we provide background information, source of wealth as well as revealing how much he is worth too.
The Wealthiest Black Man on the Planet
Many times, there is a sublime contest for the bragging rights of who the wealthiest person is. This may either be the wealthiest in a country, in the world, or a particular race as is the case here.
The tag of the richest black man on earth goes to no other person than Aliko Dangote, an industrial magnate who according to Forbes 2018 rankings has an estimated net worth of $14.1 billion.
He is the founder and Chairman of the Dangote Group. The Dangote Group is a conglomerate of industries providing a variety of consumer goods such as sugar, salt, flour, cement, and recently oil.
More details on these would follow shortly.
Before now, wealthy Africans were not included in the Forbes list. However, all that changed 7 years ago when an African category of wealthy people was created. It must be understood that the focus of this article is on the wealthiest black people.
These may be found in Africa, Europe, or North America. It considers the entire black race.
The Dangote Business Empire
While revealing the wealthiest black man alive, it is only fair that we have an understanding of his business concerns and interests.
The Dangote business empire mainly deals in the production of a variety of consumables such as sugar, salt, noodles (its noodles stake were recently sold to a competitor), cement, and recently into oil and gas with the building of refinery which is currently ongoing with costs running to the tune of $9 Billion.
This will include a fertilizer blending plant too.
The Dangote Group has invested massively in cement production with Nigeria as its home market having 3 major cement plants.
He has undertaken a Pan African cement expansion drive which has seen the company investing heavily in setting up cement factories across several countries in Africa.
These countries include Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, Congo, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia. Cement production in these locations has fully commenced with more locations being considered.
His foray into cement production has led to increased competition within the industry with other competitors such as the Lafarge group of France having to consolidate their operations by streamlining their efforts to compete favorably.
This has led to a reduction in the cost of cement.
Brief History of the Dangote Group
The Dangote group commenced operations in 1981 and started as a trading business.
Its trading operations were mainly centered on cement, sugar, salt, fish, and flour. This led to an expansion in trading operations where the company became one of the biggest trading conglomerates in Nigeria.
However, its trading operations were abandoned for manufacturing to solve the problem of over-dependence on imported goods and products.
Since it took that decision in 1999, the company has not looked back as it has invested heavily in flour mill, sugar, and pasta factories. It ventured into cement production when in 2000 it bought over the Benue Cement Company which was earlier a national asset.
This followed with the commissioning of its largest cement plant in Africa which has a production capacity of 10.25mmtpa (million metric tonnes per annum) across three lines.
While expanding its cement production capacity across the African continent, its major project now is its Refinery which is located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos. The project is estimated to gulp a whopping $9 billion.
When completed in 2019, it will have a fertilizer blending plant in addition to being the world’s largest single-train facility.
Through this project, Nigeria is set to become a major beneficiary as most of its crude is exported for refining. This ambitious project is in its advanced stages and is expected to impact significantly on founder Aliko Dangote’s net worth.
The Negative Effects of Recession on His Net-Worth
In 2016, Nigeria witnessed a biting recession that saw the value of the Naira tumbling uncontrollably.
Apart from having negative effects on the population who were worst hit, the wealthy were not spared too. This saw a huge drop in their net-worth with Dangote losing a whopping $5.4 billion representing 35% of his total net-worth.
Before the recession, Aliko Dangote was worth $21.6 billion. This significant drop was worsened by the devaluation of the Naira by the Nigerian Government.
Being the richest man on the African continent as well as the riches black man, Aliko Dangote has built a successful business empire that sees him still growing in leaps and bounds.
As a matter of fact, it is strongly believed that when his refinery fully commences operations, his net-worth will receive a significant boost.
When this happens, it will not be surprising to see him competing at the very top with other billionaires like Bill Gates and others.