“There are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet earth, but Aliko Dangote is one of the 74 men and women who make the world turn”, says Forbes in their newly released World’s Most Powerful People list. He is regarded as Africa’s wealthiest man with a current net worth of $12.2 billion.

Forbes recently ranked Aliko Dangote as the second most powerful black person in the world after Barack Obama (#48), Africa’s second most powerful person, and the 68th most powerful person in the world. The accolade to the business tycoon is unending as his swaying influence in Africa is unmatched.

Coming second in Africa after Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Nigerian billionaire has been a dominant force to reckon with in Africa’s development as his investments serve as a decision tool for foreign investors.

The testament to the billionaire’s power was felt in Tanzania in November as one of his factories, Dangote Cement in Mtwara temporarily shut down as a result of high operational costs and non-fulfillment of obligations by the Tanzanian Government. It took President John Magufuli himself to instigate a timely intervention, which if delayed, could have led to a loss of jobs, and shattered investors’ confidence in Tanzania.

The billionaire through his group–Dangote Group–has a presence in 16 countries in Africa.

Some highlights of his achievements this year include:

In February, Dangote announced his “rice for all” project in Nigeria. The project aimed at creating self-sufficiency in rice production in Nigeria. The business mogul stated that his group was starting an outgrower scheme by partnering with 5,000 local farmers and 20, 000 hectares for rice cultivation. The project has commenced in Jigawa state. His Group of companies is working with 5 other Nigerian states to expand its rice production by developing 150, 000 hectares across the country within in the next few years.

In June, Dangote Group of Companies, owned by the Billionaire acquired equity in the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). He stated the reason for making the investment was to promote regional integration and intra-African trade.

Aliko Dangote was appointed this year alongside Jay Ireland, president and CEO of General Electric Africa as the Co-Chair of US-Africa Business Centre Board of Directors.

The business mogul is currently building the continent’s largest refinery and petrochemical company. The refinery is expected to have the capacity to refine 650, 000 barrels per day and create 235, 000 direct and indirect jobs.

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