AFRICA’S richest man Aliko Dangote has been ranked 11th in the club of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders for this year. The rating was announced by Fortune, a multinational business magazine based in New York City, United States. It focuses mainly on privately-run businesses and how their promoters have used them to impact their society positively.
The magazine, which had its maiden edition published in February 1930, said the world’s greatest leaders (both men and women) are transforming the world and inspiring others to do so in business, government, philanthropy and the arts.
It said: “These thinkers, speakers and doers make bold choices and take big risks – and move others to do the same.”
It was learnt that Fortune magazine was recognising and including Aliko Dangote in the annual ranking for the first time. Specifically, Dangote having popped up in the magazine’s radar earned nomination after being adjudged as having used business to acquire wealth and converting the wealth into impactful philanthropy through his Aliko Dangote Foundation.
The top 10 greatest men and women, according to Fortune are: Bill and Melinda Gates; Jacinda Ardem (Prime Minister, New Zealand); Robert Mueller (Special Counsel, Department of Justice); Pony Ma (Founder and CEO, Tencent); Satya Nadella (CEO, Microsoft); Greta Thunberg (Student and climate activist, Sweden); Margrethe Vestager (Commissioner for Competition, European Union); Anna Nimiriano (Editor-in-Chief, Juba Monitor); Jose Andres (Chef/Founder, World Central Kitchen); and Dough Mcmillon and Lisa Woods (CEO; Senior Director, Strategy & Design for U.S. Benefits, Walmart).
Dangote’s rating as one of the greatest business leaders has attracted comments by eminent persons around the world, who described him as worthy of the nomination going by his business acumen and philanthropic gestures.
Global business giant and founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gate, extolled the efforts of Dangote in making businesses play roles in provision of sound public health through his various interventions in health care issues, especially in the fight against malnutrition and routine polio.
Gates, who tops the list of World’s Greatest Leaders, said: “Aliko Dangote, through his leadership at the Aliko Dangote Foundation, is a key partner in the Polio eradication effort, strengthening routine immunisation and fighting malnutrition in Nigeria and across Africa. Aliko bridges the gap between private business and public health in a unique way and our shared belief that Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive drives our partnership.”
Renowned activist and co-founder of ONE, Paul David Hewson (popularly called Mr. Bono), said he was not surprised at Dangote’s feat globally, describing his vision “as big as the African continent”.
Bono, a global campaigner on taking action to end extreme poverty, especially in Africa said: “Aliko has a vision just the size of his continent, but with humility of somebody who has just started his first job. It’s no surprise to me that Fortune would recognise his leadership because we have seen first-hand, through his service on ONE’s Board, the benefits of his wise counsel and grace.”
Also, economic analyst Bismark Rewane, stated: “Aliko remains understated but very potent and Africa’s most successful and decorated entrepreneur. He is a global financial and managerial behemoth.”
Dangote as Africa’s richest, with a net worth of $16.4 billion according to Bloomberg, and four publicly traded companies under the umbrella of his Dangote Industries now account for about a third of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange.
That wealth is based on a big bet on Nigeria’s economic independence: Dangote’s peers give him credit for helping the country become self-sufficient in the sectors in which his companies compete (cement, agriculture and mining)
The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) is the Philanthropic endeavour of the business mogul. The main objective of the Foundation is to reduce the number of lives lost to malnutrition and disease. The Foundation is poised to combat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children, as the core of its programming. It has also resolved to use its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of poverty.
Dangote was last year ranked among 75 most powerful persons on the planet. He was rated ahead of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
He has been named among most powerful persons in the world for the past five consecutive years. According to the Forbe’s 2018 ranking of the World Powerful people, Dangote ranked among world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump – all of whom were ranked first, second and third respectively.
He was the only Nigerian on the list and one of the only two Africans who made the list with the other being the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was ranked 45th most powerful.
He was named among the 100 most influential personalities in the world in 2018 by Time Magazine, a leading business broadcast organisation. The CNBC had earlier in same year ranked Dangote as one of the 25 people that have had most profound impact on business and finance worldwide.
He was rated the most influential African by Jeune Afrique in their classification of the most influential 50 Africans in 2018, and was also named the 6th most charitable person in the world in the same year according to Richtopia, a United Kingdom-based digital platform. He is, in addition, the richest African, according to Forbes.
Dangote stepped up his humanitarian activities recently spending billions of to build hospitals and critical hospital equipment, the lack of which has promoted medical tourism among the few privileged.
He recently donated a N1.2 billion Business School complex to the Bayero University in Kano and another one for the University of Ibadan Business School. Last month, he donated 10 blocks of hall of students’ hostel with capacity for 2,160 beds to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State
Dangote has, through the Foundation been disbursing N10 billion to vulnerable women across the 774 local governments in the country.
Dangote made a donation of $2 million to the World Food Programme as part of efforts to help Pakistani nationals devastated by floods in the year 2010.
He was made the chairperson of the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief, which raised in excess of N11.35 billion, of which Dangote himself contributed N2.5 billion, an amount higher than the entire contribution from the 36 state governors in Nigeria.
The Foundation has spent over N7 billion in the troubled Northeast for the reintegration of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).