Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has not only fully recovered from the $3.6-billion wealth loss he experienced in 2023 but has also seen a remarkable increase in his net worth. In the first 22 days of 2024, his wealth surged by over $5.2 billion, pushing his net worth above $20 billion.
With a current net worth of $20.3 billion, Dangote has solidified his position as Africa’s richest person, maintaining a significant lead over South African billionaire Johann Rupert, who is presently worth $12.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The $5.23-billion increase in Dangote’s net worth since the beginning of 2024 is attributed to the bullish market sentiment on the Nigerian Exchange. This surge in his fortune is linked to the market performance of his listed companies, with Dangote Cement Plc taking the forefront.
Dangote’s wealth surges as Dangote Cement shares hit record highs
Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in Sub-Saharan Africa with an annual production capacity of 55 million tonnes across 10 countries, has witnessed a remarkable surge in its share price, soaring over 100 percent since the beginning of the year. Starting at N319.9 ($0.357) on January 1, the share price has climbed to N651.8 ($0.713) as of the latest report.
With a market capitalization exceeding N10 trillion ($11.2 billion) on the Nigerian Exchange, Dangote Cement holds a significant position in Dangote’s portfolio. His 86-percent stake in the company is valued at an estimated $10.4 billion, constituting more than 50 percent of his current net worth of $20.3 billion and solidifying his status as Africa’s wealthiest individual.
The surge in Dangote Cement shares coincides with Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola’s strategic investment in the leading cement company. Otedola’s decision to invest underscores his confidence in Dangote Cement’s ability to generate foreign exchange for Nigeria and his commitment to supporting businesses contributing to the country’s economic resilience.
Speaking about his investment, Otedola highlighted Dangote Cement’s unique position with two export terminals, offering a substantial opportunity to earn foreign exchange crucial for Nigeria’s economy. The company’s recent expansion, including the addition of a new six-million-tonne plant in Itori, Ogun State, enhances its export capacity and emphasizes its contribution to Nigeria’s economic diversification.
Sugar, salt, and beyond: Dangote’s flourishing ventures
Dangote’s cement empire remains a key pillar of his wealth, but impressive gains are also coming from his sugar and salt ventures. Dangote Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries have surged 30 percent and 26 percent, respectively, riding the wave of a broader market uptrend.
This bullish market sentiment is propelling Dangote’s sugar and salt businesses to new heights, reinforcing his dominance in these essential consumer goods sectors. His 72.7-percent stake in Dangote Sugar Refinery, now valued at over $770 million, hints at further potential gains.
Similarly, his 66.5-percent stake in NASCON Allied, exceeding $125 million, adds a flavorful touch to his diversified portfolio. Even his minority holdings in Jaiz Bank and United Bank for Africa have shown substantial growth in 2024.