Africa’s richest man and owner of Africa’s largest conglomerate, Aliko Dangote recently stated that he will only give a part of his money to charity. However, that part of it –philanthropic spending of N30 billion ($185 million) within the last two years- is already the largest expense on charity either by an African individual or company.
And Dangote plans to do more; “I am going to try my best and give part of that money to charity. I am working hard on it… I think from this year, I personally want to take it (philanthropy) very seriously. I want to be much more aggressive than what we have had in the past, a statement from Dangote group quotes him as saying.
Inspired by the belief in Africans helping Africa, Dangote also expressed his intent not to limit his charity activities to his home country Nigeria; “We already have a foundation which will do all these things (charities), but I am trying to see what we can do to encourage not only Nigerians but other Africans”, he added.
The statement by Dangote Group, which was released on Sunday disclosed, that the conglomerate has spent N30 billion ($185 million) in two years on philanthropic and humanitarian activities.
The group mentioned some of its charity programmes such as the Dangote Academy worth about N1 billion ($6 million), through it aims to develop manpower across various disciplines. The group also revealed that it spent N1 billion on the rehabilitation of some Nigerian universities, as part of its contribution to the educational sector.
Dangote also made the donation of N2.5 billion ($15.4 million), two years ago, to cushion the effect of flooding in Nigeria- the single highest donation by a private body in the history of Nigeria. N430 million ($2.8 million) was also given to flood victims, unemployed youths and women in Kogi State in the same year.
In Benue State Nigeria, the group disclosed that it, among other things, electrified 15 villages at the cost of N115 million. It also donated N100million to victims of Lagos flooding, another N100million to those in Sokoto and N60million to victims of flooding in Oyo State, two years ago.
Recently Dangote group also donated N540 million ($3.3 million) to vulnerable women as a result of insurgency in the North East of Nigeria as well as donating, two months ago, 12 trailer-load of relief items worth N40 million ($246,502) to support the government in bringing succour to victims of communal clash.
Dangote has also been involved in aiding foreign nations with $500,000 donated to victims of explosion in Republic of Congo; $2 million contributed for flood victims in Pakistan; and $740,500 to cushion the effect of famine in Niger Republic.
Business boom continues
Dangote’s interest in increasing spending on charity is perhaps influenced by continued boom in his businesses with Dangote cement enjoying a 39 percent profit rise in 2013 and up 8.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
The company is also investing several billion dollars to build manufacturing plants and import terminals across Africa. Current plans are for integrated or grinding plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Republic of Congo, Liberia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia, as well as Ivory Coast and Ghana, and import/packing facilities in Ghana and Sierra Leone.