All Articles Tagged "dangote"
By Steven Barboza
Africa, the second largest continent, is in a fix. It is rich in natural resources. It has a relatively young population, but fifty years after it shook off the last colonialist, it is up to its neck in aid. It still has big problems stemming from a failure of governance, and it has the world’s poorest people.
African philanthropists are working to clean up the mess, using hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to transform Africa both socially and economically. Some want to develop Africa’s fledgling markets. Others want to strengthen the private sector and work with government agencies to develop business-friendly policies. One wants to use African businesses as a world-class entrepreneurial training ground. If African government leaders play along, economic transformation could ensue.
One African business leader, Tony O. Elumelu, is fond of saying, “Nobody is going to develop Africa except us.” It is his way of saying Africans must control Africa’s financial future — and thus reap Africa’s financial rewards.
“Africa is brimming with talent and innovation, and the continent’s growth and development can best be achieved through private sector investing that creates economic prosperity and social wealth. Africa’s political leaders must urgently focus on creating the enabling environment for business to flourish.”
Elumelu has put his money where his mouth is. The former bank CEO, who is credited for having modernized West African banking, established a foundation (named for him) that seeks to drive Africa’s economic growth from within. The foundation, based in Nigeria, makes what he calls “impact investments” with an aim to turn a profit while focusing on social and environmental problems. Elumelu believes impact investing is a much more sustainable means of capitalization than direct grants because of the entrepreneurial rigor needed to produce a financial return.
The foundation’s inaugural impact investment went to a farm-livestock business in southern Tanzania, Mtanga Farms. The 2,200 hectare operation that will use the grant to launch a seed potato industry, which will produce new varieties of potatoes in the region, benefiting 125,000 farmers. The deal is the first cross-border impact investment in Africa.
Nigeria has certainly emerged as the wealthiest country in Africa. As a powerful emerging market in the world economy, it has the billionaires and multi-millionaires to prove its status. The resource-rich African country has been aided heavily by its wealth of oil. Although outsiders, like the Chinese for instance, are taking advantage of the resource and its potentials, Nigerians themselves are not totally left out in the cold. Forbes columnist Mfonobong Nsehe recently aggregated the country’s richest stockholders in the continent’s most populous country. Check ‘em out below.
5. Eddy Martins Egwuenu
Net Worth on the Nigerian Stock Exchange: $54.2 million
Source: He is the second largest individual shareholder of Zenith Bank. He was one
Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, or BET founder Robert Johnson come to mind when thinking of some of the most affluent black people in the world. However, there is another black billionaire who isn’t a household name here in the United States but is making headlines throughout the world with his business organizing a $5 billion London share sale.
His name is Alhaji Aliko Dangote, owner of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate known as the Dangote Group based in Nigeria and with operations throughout Africa. He is ranked in Forbes as one of the richest black African descendants behind Mohammed Al Amoudi and Oprah Winfrey with his net worth of $2.5 billion dollars.
Alhaji started the Dangote group as a small trading firm in 1977. The Dangote group slowly emerged as a successful African conglomerate with businesses in industries such as food processing, cement manufacturing, real estate. They are also continuing to expand with new projects in oil development, natural gas, telecommunications, fertilizer production, and steel. The Dangote Group continues to see its dominance in the sugar market in Nigeria where it is the major sugar supplier to the country’s soft drink, deserts, and brewery plants.
Dangote Cement, the largest cement production company in Africa and subsidiary of the Dangote Group, is currently in the news with its plan to sell up to 5 billion in shares as reported in Business Week.
With the help of investment banks Goldman Sachs Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley, the company aims to sell three to five billion’s worth of global depositary receipts in London. A global depositary receipt is a bank certificate issued in more than one country for shares in a foreign company. The advantage here is that the shares trade as domestic shares but are offered for sales around the world through bank branches of an international bank. This is what allows Dangote Cement, a Nigerian Stock Exchanged-based company, to sell its shares in London to gain international investors.
The reasons why the company has decided to open itself up to foreign investors is due to the need for increased capacity to meet the demand for cement in Nigeria. The company plans to increase capacity five times by 2015. Demand for cement in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest economy is expecting a 45 percent increase in 2010 alone and the trend is expected to continue for years to come. With the Nigerian stock market already tapped out from Dangote Cement’s $13.5 billion naira-Nigerian dollar ($90million) IPO, Dangote Cement wants to attract foreign investors to support the company’s growth.
The Dangote Group stands as a modern day success story for emerging markets. Beginning in only 1977, this company has grown from a small trading firm to a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. Increased demand in cement and increased consumer spending in these emerging markets only offer more growth for this company in the future.