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Africa’s wealthiest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were on Wednesday named among the100 most influential persons on earth by the TIME Magazine.
Bill Gate, Microsoft Founder and Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation wrote a tribute in honour of Dangote in commemoration of his listing by the magazine.
Gate dwelt extensively on the philanthropic gestures of the business mogul in the areas of health especially polio eradication and job creation efforts.
While Gate was lavish in his praises of the timely response of Dangote to the need for a health alliance by the private sector, Buno a lead singer of U2 and a co-founder of One and (RED) wrote the tribute for Okonjo-Iweala.
Gates, described him as a man who does good in addition to doing well. According to him, “… his business activities drive economic growth across the continent. That’s impressive, but I know him best as a leader constantly in search of ways to bridge the gap between private business and public health. It’s for that reason he helped create the Nigeria Private Sector Health Alliance. And it’s for that reason he is an advocate for agricultural research and malaria control.”
Aliko was classified in the Titans category which boasts of eminent world personalities like Hillary Clinton, former USA Secretary of State, Jeff Bezoz, Tony Fadell, Janet Yellen among others. Those in the Pioneers category include: Jason Collins, Natalie Massenet, Mary Jo White, Edward Snowden, among others.
Barbara Brown Taylor, Robin Wright, John Green, Kerry Washington were in the Artists category among others, while Jerry Brown, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, John Kerry and Angela Merkel were among those in the Leaders category.
In the Icons category were Pope Francis, Alice Waters, Marina Abramovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carl Icahn, among many others.
Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by the American news magazine TIME.
First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now an annual event.
Although appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, TIME makes it clear that entrants are recognised for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions.
Aliko had earlier been listed as the 64th most powerful person in the world by the Forbes Magazine. Aliko was born on the 10th of April 1957 in the ancient city of Kano, Nigeria. He owns the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities, cement, petrochemicals, fertiliser among many others. The company operates in Nigeria and 14 other countries in Africa, as of March 2014, he had an estimated net worth of $25 billion
Dangote is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 23rd richest person in the world and the richest man in Africa. He surpassed Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi in 2013 by over $2.6 billion to become the world's richest black man.
On the 14th of November 2011, Dangote was awarded Nigeria's second highest honour, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. He has also been awarded the highest National award in two other African countries: The Republic of Benin and Kenya. He remains the single largest private sector investor in South Africa.
Dangote reportedly added $9.2 billion to his personal wealth in 2013, according to the Bloomberg Index, now making him the 30th richest person in the world in their ranking, in addition to being the richest person in Africa.
He debuted on Forbes billionaires list in 2008 with a $3.3 billion fortune.
Over the last six years, he has added $21.7 billion to his net worth thanks largely to the incredible success of his crown jewel, the publicly-listed Dangote Cement, which has a market cap of $24 billion and has operations in 14 African countries.