THISDAY SPECIAL RELEASE
Foremost entrepreneur and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, was at the weekend named along other world leaders including Russian President, Vladimir Putin, American President-elect, Donald Trump and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as the most powerful persons in the world.
These personalities were ranked along with 70 others, with Dangote ranked as the second most powerful on the African continent.
The Nigerian business mogul has constantly featured in the list since 2013, when he was listed as the only black African so rated by the U.S.-based Forbes magazine on the list of 100 most powerful persons in the world.
Listed as the 71st most powerful last year ahead of the American President-elect, Dangote, Africa’s richest man, moved up the ladder of influential people to come in as the 68th most powerful in the world at the weekend, after only Egyptian President, Abdel el-Sisi, who was adjudged the most powerful in Africa and ranked 44th in the world.
Forbes in the latest edition of its 74 World Most Powerful People ranking list, indicated that the 64-year-old Putin was the most powerful in the world, ahead of Trump who was second on the list.
Ms. Merkel was ranked the third most powerful person in the world while outgoing U.S. President, Barack Obama placed 48th on the list.
The Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis was in fifth place; the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, come in seventh; Chinese President Xi Jinping came before the Pope in number four while the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was the 10th most powerful person in the world.
Forbes reported that there are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet earth but the listed men and women as the most powerful make the world turn.
The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including its list of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) and rankings of the world’s top companies (the Forbes Global 2000).
Another well-known list by the magazine is the The World’s Billionaires list.
In 2013, Dangote was the only African listed among the most powerful people in the world before the Egyptian president recently featured on the list.
Dangote recently won the 2016 African Business Leader Award organised by the Africa-America Institute (AAI) in New York in September.
The Dangote Foundation, the most endowed foundation in Africa established by him, also won the 2016 African Philanthropy of the Year Award at the All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) in Johannesburg.
Last month, Dangote was also named among the 50 world’s most influential personalities by Bloomberg, the renowned U.S.-based news media wire service with a bias for business and financial news reporting.
The group of personalities chosen by the Bloomberg Market consisted of CEOs, world leaders, as well as religious leaders.
As expected, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Pope Francis made the list with Dangote at number 41 on the list.
According to Bloomberg, those on the list “build companies and assemble fortunes. They run banks, or hope to disrupt them. They shape economies and spread ideas. They manage money and wield the clout that goes with the billions of dollars they invest”.
The Bloomberg media said of Dangote: “Aliko Dangote, Founder, Dangote Group, Africa’s most successful businessman, built his fortune in sugar, textiles, and cement in his native Nigeria, where today, he is a political as well as a financial power broker. He is expanding in other countries and may list his cement company on the London stock market.”
A piece written by Paul Wallace, a reporter with the media outfit, said: “Dangote is feted like royalty. He has businesses ranging from cement to sugar to energy in a dozen sub-Saharan countries. He’s a fixture at elite gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“No African has ridden the continent’s halting march out of poverty toward potential prosperity as spectacularly as its richest person, the Nigerian industrialist Aliko Dangote.”
Similarly, Prof. Iweribor of the Hunter College, University of New York, described Dangote as a transformational industrialist, saying his inclusion on the list of most powerful persons in world was not surprising.
He said: “This is because he and his group have emerged as the revolutionary vanguard of African economic transformation, and have been at the forefront of domestically generated prosperity and psycho-cultural upliftment.”