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After decades of building up his cement business and expanding into sugar, flour, oil, and other commodities, Aliko Dangote today is worth $18.6 billion, making him Africa’s wealthiest man and among the world’s richest. Credit: Jon Chase/harvard.edu

The path to profits in Africa: Africa's richest man Dangote describes how businesses can succeed despite obstacles

When Aliko Dangote was building his business, running four cement trucks in Nigeria in the late 1970s, a relative gave him $750,000 to expand. Business was booming — there was a cement shortage — but instead of investing the money in the business, he gave it back.