The President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has been named the most powerful man in Africa and 64th in the world by the Forbes magazine.
Dangote, who Forbes says is by far Africa’s richest man with a net worth of $16.1bn as of March 2013, was ranked ahead of the likes of Fifa President, Sepp Blatter (69); Speaker, United States House of Representatives, John Boehner (66); and Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mohammed Ibrahim (71).
The 56-year-old, Dangote, whose company is considered one of the most diversified on the list, is currently ranked 43 on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires with his net worth over time said to be on the rise.
In August, the industrialist had announced plans by the Dangote Group to build a $9bn refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria, a move which is expected to help the group further diversify its current business model and increase his net worth.
Away from his business interests, mention was also made of his philanthropic efforts in his profile on the Forbes website.
It reads in part, “Inspired by fellow billionaires, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Dangote is making a name for himself on the philanthropic circuit and has given away millions to education, health and social causes in Africa.”
Apart from Dangote, Ibrahim is the only other African on the list, which contains 72 people.
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, topped the list, displacing United States President, Barrack Obama, who dropped to the second spot for the first time in three years.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping, occupies the third spot, while the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, debuts on the list at number four.
Pope Francis, who was elected in March this year, leads 12 other new entrants.
Other notable new names on the list are Samsung Chairman, Lee Kun-Hee (41); Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn (49); South Korean President, Park Geun-hye (52); and Janet Yellen (72), who has been nominated by President Obama as the next leader of the US Federal Reserves.
The Executive Editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson (68), makes a return appearance after dropping off the list in years past.
Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, aged 29, and North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un, aged 30, are the youngest people on the list. Zuckerberg occupies the 24th place, while Kim is ranked 46th.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who occupies the eight spot, is the oldest person on the list. He is 89 years old.
The world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, is, however, not the most powerful man. The América Móvil honorary chairman occupies the 12th position.
According to Forbes, the Most Powerful People in the World list is an annual snapshot of the 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 million people on earth – based on their scope of influence and their financial resources relative to their peers,” the magazine explained.
This year’s list features 17 heads of state, who run nations with a combined Gross Domestic Product of some $48tn.