Chairman Dangote group and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has recently donated a $3.5 million student’s hostel to Ahmedo Bello University, Zaria in Northern Nigeria. This is regarded as the largest private donation to a varsity in Nigeria since independence. This follows several donations he made to other universities across Nigeria. He donated world class Business schools to the University of Ibadan and Bayero University last year.
Dangote through his foundation is also active in economic empowerment, disaster relief and health. Last year, he donated 150 fully kit cars to the Nigerian police force which was the largest ever private donation to Nigeria’s police department.
According to the industrialist, he was able to accrue his vast fortune because of the opportunities provided to him by Nigeria. As a result, he is obliged to give back and this he is doing hugely.
Dangote is a firm believer in Africa’s potential. This is proven by his investment of $17 billion integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Lekki free trade zone, Lagos state. Once completed this project will create more than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.
He also increased investments in agriculture. He is investing $4.6 billion in rice, sugar and diary. According to him, agriculture is among the best ways to industrialize a country. Furthermore, agriculture’s potential for generating employment is massive. He estimated that his investments would provide up to 150,000 jobs.
The business magnate through his conglomorate, the Dangote Group, is also the largest employer in Nigeria after the federal government whilst being reportedly responsible for over 10 percent of Nigeria’s GDP.
Benefits of supporting local entrepreneurs
Millions of youth are unemployed across the African continent. African governments supporting local entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses is key to abating this mounting crisis. Successful indigenous entrepreneurs will do a lot for their respective countries. They will create large number of jobs, donate to charities, participate in social corporate responsibilities and increase national revenues via increased taxes paid to their coffers.
African governments must step up
Dangote is proof that African countries should fully support local entrepreneurs to expand their businesses. Supporting local entrepreneurs will end up benefiting the respective governments greatly. This is because they are willing to invest heavily in their home countries. It is incumbent on African governments to provide incentives to local entrepreneurs to expand their businesses. They should also improve the business environment of their countries.