The 5th edition of the annual Financial Times African Summit commenced yesterday in London, and as expected much focus was on Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
The successful businessman and Chairman of Dangote Group spoke on a number of salient issues during the summit, all of which are highlighted below.
Need for Intra-Africa Trade and economic cooperation
- According to the billionaire, it has become essential to develop Africa’s regional markets as a way of ensuring economic growth. He also to stated that it is high time African states begin to make use of the Free Trade Agreements between them because it is an important step towards actualising the much-needed growth on the continent.
- He, however, acknowledged that one of Africa’s biggest economic challenges is the inability to refine its bountiful raw materials before exportation.
Aliko Dangote begins his conversation with @lionelbarber by saying: African nations' biggest struggle is to refine our own raw materials. Every time there is a dip in commodities prices, we struggle. #FTAfrica
— Financial Times Live (@ftlive) October 8, 2018
- He then stressed the need for African countries to cut down on raw material exportation and focus more on refining their own goods before exporting it. This is because refining the raw materials before exporting them create room for more wealth to be created, he said.
Note that there are companies such as the Dangote Group who are already making concerted efforts to industrialise Africa. As this happens, therefore, it becomes imperative for Africans to always patronise goods that are manufactured in Africa, he said.
Not always the case
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Dangote actually decried the fact that Nigeria’s neighbour, Benin Republic, prefers to import cement from far away China instead of buying Dangote Cement from closeby Nigeria.
“We need to trade with ourselves.” -Dangote
His comments on Dangote’s proposed London Stock Exchange listing and MTN
- The accomplished industrialist and billionaire also commented on the planned listing of Dangote Cement on the London Stock Exchange which he said is undergoing the final stages of preparation. According to him, this could happen as early as next year.
- Meanwhile, prompted to talk about the problem involving Africa’s biggest telecoms company and the Nigerian authorities, Dangote said MTN is acting a little proud, even as called on both parties to amicably resolve the issue.
@AlikoDangote on MTN and Gov of Nigeria – MTN they should calm down, they’re a little arrogant. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but they should sit down and pay the tax, it’s a simple situation. #FTAfrica
— Matthew Dawes (@matthewdawes) October 8, 2018
The Financial Times African Summit was organised by Financial Times. Over the past five years, it has become one of the biggest global events in the world of business. This year’s summit saw the gathering of so many notable leaders in business and politics, including the Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.