The founder, Dangote group, Aliko Dangote, has been named by Forbes magazine as the 64th most powerful person in the world, more powerful than all African leaders. The survey also put him as more powerful than all African heads of state, including President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.
The 56-year old Kano born richest man in Africa is the only African on the first 70 names on the list, closely followed by Sudanese born telecoms magnate, Mo Ibrahim.
The businessman has a networth of $16.1billion and diversified interests in cement, sugar, flour, salt, petrochemicals, oil and gas.
The self-made billionaire announced in May his ambition to overhaul Nigeria’s petroleum industry, with plans to build Africa’s largest petroleum refinery in the country at estimated cost of $2billion.
The 2013 list, which was released on Wednesday featured no African President while 17 other heads of state that run nations with a combined GDP of some $48 trillion made the list.
Russian President, Vladmir Putin topped the list as the most powerful man in the world ahead of American President, Barack Obama, whilst the general secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping, made the top three.
This is the first year that Putin is wearing the crown. Obama has been on the top of the list for every year with the exception of 2010, when Hu Jintao, the former political and military leader of China, was No. 1.
According to Forbes, “the Most Powerful People in the World list is an annual snapshot of 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 ,here are nine women on the list; representing 12% of the world’s most powerful. Recently elected President of South Korea, Geun-Hye Park joins other female heads of state German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No.5), Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff (No. 20) and de facto head of India Sonia Gandhi (No. 21).
Forbes notes that two of the world’s most important NGO’s are run by women: Christine Lagarde (No. 35) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Margaret Chan (No. 59) steers the World Health Organization.