Aliko Dangote – A Leader’s view on Africa’s Economy
Aliko Dangote, the Founder, President/Chief Executive of the Dangote Group, the largest conglomerate in West Africa, based in Nigeria shared the secret of backward integration with investors at an extraordinarily candid public conversation session at the Financial Times’ Africa Summit 2017 at Claridges in London.
Aliko Dangote noted that there has been lots of discussion and need to diversify the economy especially however he stressed that it is not the sole duty of the government to implement diversification but those of the Entrepreneurs which is what the Dangote Group is trying to achieve across Africa. He further outlined the key to his success: self-sufficiency and backward integration, a manufacturing strategy that extracts value from entire processes.
“We are not going to import anything any longer. Once a heavy importer of fertilizer, Nigeria is now gearing up to produce 3 million tonnes of locally manufactured fertilizer, transforming the nation into one of the largest fertilizer exporters in Africa” he said.
Looking at how to make Nigeria self sufficient in Milk to counter importation of about 98% of all milk consumed in Nigeria, extending full production cycle of rice to 1 million tones are some of the key mileage he noted about Nigeria learning how to produce the entire value chain.
In 2007 Nigeria was the second largest importer of cement after the US, Dangote reminded the audience of business elites. “Today, we have not only satisfied domestic needs; we have become a leading exporter of 6-million tonnes of cement,” he added.
The Dangote Group, has subsidiaries that cut across cement production, sugar refining and flour milling, is present in 17 other African countries. It has also diversified into other sectors including agriculture and energy, and is building the largest refinery, petrochemical and fertiliser complex in Africa. One of the Group’s subsidiaries, Dangote Cement Plc, is the largest listed company in West Africa and the first Nigerian company to join the Forbes Global 2000 Companies list. The Group is the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria outside the federal government.
A leading global philanthropist, Aliko Dangote is passionate about lifting the most vulnerable people out of poverty through economic empowerment.