Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest billionaire, saw U.S. President Barack Obama speak Saturday in Soweto, South Africa, and mirrored Obama’s message on investing in Africa, according to a report in Business Report.
Anybody who is serious about business must invest in Africa, Dangote told Business Report on the sidelines of Obama’s town hall meeting.
Dangote said he plans to invest$15 billion in the next four to five years in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.
Dangote owns 93 percent of Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in Africa. The company is worth $19.5 billion, the report said.
He has controlling stakes in other publicly held companies such as Dangote Sugar and National Salt Company of Nigeria, shares in blue chips such as Zenith Bank, UBA Group and Dangote Flour, extensive property, jets and yachts, according to Business Report.
Forbes estimated in June that Dangote was worth more than $20 billion and listed him as one of the 20 richest men in the world.
Last October, Dangote sold 63 percent of Dangote Flour to Tiger Brands, a South African consumer goods company, for $188 million, the report said.
“The return on investment in Africa is always very high,” Dangote said. “You are talking about 30 percent and above. And I don’t really believe that anybody who is serious about business should miss out.”
Dangote said that over the past two years his cement companies have invested about $5 billion outside Nigeria. That includes $560 million in South Africa, $500 million in Tanzania, $580 million in Ethiopia and about $380 million in Zambia.
In Nigeria alone, his group is investing $8 billion in oil refining and $2 billion in fertilizer.
“The future is great,” especially in agriculture, Dangote told Business Report.
“When the world’s population will cross over 8 billion, a lot of countries need arable land and that land is only available in Africa. So there will be a lot happening here,” he said.