He is Africa's richest man and the world knows it.

Aliko was born April 10, 1957 in Kano into a very prominent business family.

He is the great grandson of Alhassan Dantata, the richest African at the time of his death in 1955.

He had his early education in Kano and went to Al Azhar University in Cairo to study Business.

He cut his business teeth very early in life as he himself recalled: “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets [sugar boxes] and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”

The Dangote phenomenon however began in 1977, when he founded his trading company and then took the defining decision to relocate to Lagos.

His small trading firm grew in leaps and bounds.

Today, the Dangote Group is a multi-trillion naira conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Dangote has expanded to cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and lately has ventured into tomato processing and rice cultivation and the biggest project of all, building Africa’s biggest petro-chemical refinery complex, near Lagos. The latter is a 9 billion dollars project and is scheduled to come on stream next year.

The Dangote Group dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major supplier to the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners.

In 40 years, the Dangote Group has moved from being a trading company to being the largest industrial group in Nigeria, with its cement company representing 25% of the Nigerian stock value.

Aliko himself has an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion and as at February 2017 was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest person in the world and the richest in Africa.

He peaked on Forbe’s rich list as the 23rd richest person in the world in 2014.