Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Finance Videos

Concrete future for world's richest African

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 02:38

Sept.17 - Aliko Dangote's entrepreneurial skills have helped make him Africa's richest person, with cement plants opened or under construction across Africa - now he dreams of owning the largest cement firm on the planet. Sonia Legg reports

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

The Dangote group employs 23,000 people and it's an empire with a concrete foundation. It's owner is the world's richest African - a Nigerian with plans to create the world's biggest cement company. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALIKO DANGOTE, SAYING: "The real target is for us to see what value can we add and pay back to this country of ours that we call Nigeria and the only way to do this is by trying to make sure that you stay where you believe you can add a lot of value in business." Aliko Dangnote started his career selling sweets - with 3,000 dollars of borrowed money he went on to trade sugar, pasta and oil - the cooking variety. A transport firm followed, along with flour mills, sugar refineries and salt production. Dangote Cement was floated in 2010. It's now worth an estimated 15 billion dollars - and makes up almost 1 percent of Nigeria's gdp. Dangote also has a personal fortune of 11 billion dollars. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALIKO DANGOTE, SAYING: "We try as much as possible to use our own money to do most of these projects even if we borrow money, today, we'll only borrow money temporarily before we replace that money with our own cash-flow." Critics accuse him of using his influence to ban competitors' imports - a charge he denies. But he does have virtual monopolies on cement, sugar and rice in Nigeria thanks to exclusive import rights granted in the 1990's. Bismarck Rewane runs consultancy firm Financial Derivatives. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BISMARCK REWANE, ECONOMIST AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF CONSULTANCY FIRM, FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES SAYING: "Aliko is a highly driven extremely competitive and passionate individual. When committed to a cause, he will do anything to win." And Dangote is still building on his success. He wants to list 20 percent of the cement company on the London Stock Exchange late next year. The price he wants would make Dangote the world's top cement firm by market capitalization and Africa's top stock. There are no guarantees of course - replicating success in countries with open economies and little corruption may prove a challenge. But few can deny Dangote's achievements so far in a continent where manufacturing is a rarity and foreign investment the norm. Sonia Legg, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Concrete future for world's richest African

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 02:38