From the interview granted by Aliko Dangote (the number one businessman in Africa) to the American media Bloomberg, one essentially retained his plan to invest up to $ 50 billion in Europe and the United States. But another important thing that has gone almost unnoticed is the advice that the Nigerian billionaire gave, and which could be of use to any African who would like to be entrepreneurial and successful.
1- Always make sure that the product or service we offer meets a need
Subtly Dangote made it known, when he said, “What I noticed is that the majority of African countries import cement. The best approach, I thought, would be to allow Africa to meet its own infrastructure needs by becoming self-sufficient, “he said.
2- Do not be afraid to question established achievements
Dangote’s advice comes from the Nigerian environment, in which all great entrepreneurs and wealthy businessmen have upstream oil interests. “Dangote has never done any business in oil, which shows that you don’t have to be in the business. In Nigeria, oil has really damaged the way we think. Everyone thinks about it, oil, oil. And we are a company that has succeeded without necessarily being there. ” he indicated.
3- Passion is at the heart of everything
Dangote on this point recalls that his idea to build a refinery dates back to 2005, when he had no visibility yet. “We don’t want to listen to the critics because their intentions are to destroy us. We use our own money. It’s the project of my life. I must save it to make sure that it will be properly executed, ”he said, before recalling that West Africa cannot have 350 million inhabitants and continue to import everything, while it has all the assets to produce.
4- Always stimulate your appetite for success
It was at this point that the Nigerian billionaire presented his European and American ambition. But in passing, he declares: “Our commercial strategy has always been like that, yes. We don’t want to be # 2 in everything we do. We want to be # 1. At worst, we can be # 2, but still strive to be # 1. ”
Aliko Dangote has become a true reference in Africa. Supported by the Obasanjo government in its early days, it is now demonstrating that it is possible to benefit from state support and to build businesses up to international standards.