Aliko Dangote is not only a cement tycoon, a billionaire, and the the richest man in Africa, he is also a philanthropist who plans to spend some of his money constructing a new 1,000-bed hospital in Nigeria. This incredible gift of health will be the largest such facility in the northern state of Kano. To be named the Mariya Sanusi Dantata Ultramodern Theater Complex, the new hospital will be situated near a wing of the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in Kano. Dangote made the announcement on Tuesday while laying the foundation for a $12 million theater and diagnostic complex which his charity organization, the Dangote Foundation, that he is also building.
Africa’s richest man was motivated to build the 1,000-bed hospital in Kano by his interest in putting an end to foreign medical tourism trips that cost Nigeria billions of naira annually. Apart from building a world-class medical institution in his home state, the philanthropist is committed to supporting the Kano government’s efforts to achieve a sound health program for its people. He believes that it is only healthy Nigerians who can contribute to the growth of the economy, a resource that would be much more scarce without the proper medical facilities available to those in need.
Several prominent Nigerian dignitaries showed their support for the billionaire’s efforts at the foundation-laying event for Dangote’s current project, including the governor of Kano state, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Dangote has significantly stepped up his philanthropic efforts over the last 12 months. Earlier this year, he started a program to disburse $62 million worth of grants to impoverished women and youth across the country. More specifically, this program encourages recipients to start their own business with the aim of providing income for them and their immediate family. Last November, he also gave $15.8 million to relief efforts in Nigeria in the wake of a devastating flood that killed about 400 people. He has also donated millions to several Nigerian universities, victims of munitions blasts in Congo, and to low-cost housing for Nigeria’s urban poor.
Image by UNAMID Photo