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Aliko Dangote Named World’s Sixth Most Charitable Person

Richtopia, a UK-based online business and financial journal, has named Aliko Dangote the sixth most charitable person in the world. The Nigerian business magnate, who is also Africa’s richest man, was placed near the summit of a list of the world’s top 100 philanthropists.

Tony Elumelu, another well known Nigerian entrepreneur, got a spot on the rankings as well; his name sits in eleventh place, tucked in between US billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Eric Schmidt. The two Nigerians stand out quite starkly on a list that is heavily dominated by American businesspeople, athletes and entertainers.

Dangote’s appearance near the top of a global list of charitable persons is tied to the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), an organization which until recently functioned as the philanthropic arm of Dangote’s vast business conglomerate. The foundation works to combat severe malnutrition in children and invests in the education and empowerment of people across Nigeria.

In 2014, Dangote gave support worth over $1 billion to the ADF, to enable it to sustain and expand its charitable work- perhaps the largest endowment by a single African donor. The Aliko Dangote Foundation is also the largest private foundation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tony Elumelu, whose name also features on the list, is known for establishing the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). Launched in 2015, the TEF is Africa’s biggest entrepreneur-focused philanthropic project. It runs with the goal of empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs with the skills and support they need to build successful businesses, and ultimately create a million jobs and grow the continent’s economy by $10 billion. Elumelu says his organization is committing $100 million to this cause, spread over a decade.

Before 2015, the TEF had given scholarships and fellowships to young Africans who demonstrated strong leadership qualities and the desire to contribute to the positive transformation of the continent.

This isn’t the first time Richtopia would be ranking Nigerians on its list of philanthropists. In 2017, it included Elumelu on its list of the world’s most influential philanthropists and social entrepreneurs.

Richtopia’s list of top global philanthropists in 2018 has respected American investor Warren Buffett at its top spot. Buffett, who is the world’s third richest man, has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune to charitable causes. In 2009, he and Bill Gates funded the Giving Pledge, an initiative which encourages billionaires to give away at least half their fortunes through philanthropy.

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and the world’s second richest man, has his name at number two, just ahead of British author J.K Rowling in third. Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk complete the top five in that order. Dangote’s sixth place precedes Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg, who round up the top ten.

Richtopia’s list of most charitable people in the world is one of its many annual rankings, which give a sweeping view of the leading figures in global business, finance and economics. The Philanthropists’ Top 100 shines the spotlight on the more deliberately humane activities of these individuals.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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