Dangote, Most Powerful African

In this year’s edition of Forbes Most Powerful People, Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group and Africa’s richest man, emerges as the most powerful man on the continent and the 64th in the world

By Olu Ojewale  |  Nov. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

ALIKO Dangote, Africa’s richest man and president, Dangote Group, is the most powerful man in Africa and the 64th in the world. The Forbes magazine said in its current edition. According to the magazine, Dangote is more powerful than Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, who placed 69th, John Boehner, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, placed 66 and Mohammed Ibrahim, founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The magazine reported Dangote’s net worth to be about $16.1 billion and ranked him 43rd on the list of the world’s billionaires. The 56-year-old businessman has many business interests in manufacturing and produce goods.

In August, this year, the Dangote Group announced plans to build a $9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria, a move which is expected to help the group further diversify its current business model and increase his net worth. Apart from that, the business mogul is also a philanthropist. The Forbes noted this in the edition, thus: “Inspired by fellow billionaires, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Dangote is making a name for himself on the philanthropic circuit and has given away millions to education, health and social causes in Africa.”

Besides Dangote, Ibrahim is the only other African on the list, which contains 72 people. Leading the pack of Forbe’s most powerful people in the world is President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Putin displaced President Barack Obama of the United States, who had occupied the position in the past three years. The US leader now occupies the second position. Xi Jinping, Chinese president, occupies the third spot, while Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, debuts on the list at number four. Pope Francis, who was elected in March this year, leads 12 other new entrants.

Other notable new names on the list are Lee Kun-Hee, chairman, Samsung (41); Martin Winterkorn, chairman, Volkswagen (49); Park Geun-hye, president, South Korea (52); and Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee as the next head of the US Federal Reserves (72). The rest are Jill Abramson, executive editor, New York Times, (68), Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, 29, founder of Facebook and Kim Jung-un, North Korean leader, aged 30, are the youngest people on the list. Zuckerberg occupies the 24th place, while Kim is ranked 46th. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who occupies the eighth spot, is the oldest person on the list at 89 years. The world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, is, however, not the most powerful man. He occupies the 12th position.

Forbes says the Most Powerful People in the World list is an annual snapshot of the heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, who truly rule the world. “It represents the collective wisdom of top Forbes editors, who consider hundreds of nominees before ranking the planet’s top 72 power-brokers – one for every 100 million people on earth – based on their scope of influence and their financial resources relative to their peers,” the magazine said. According to the magazine, this year’s list features 17 heads of state, who run nations with a combined Gross Domestic Product of about $48 trillion.

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