Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote says African governments have never been good at running any business which has impacted negatively on the development of the continent.
Dangote, who was worth $12.3 billion as of mid-August, in an interview with Bloomberg said the majority of businesses in Africa going back 30 years were owned by governments who were unable to run them.
“What you have to understand is that in Africa, going back 25 or 30 years, the majority of businesses were actually owned by government. And government has never been good at running any business,” Dangote, Africa’s richest man said.
“That’s the issue we have. Government’s job is not to drive the process. We have entrepreneurship now, and that’s what we are trying to do. We are not as lucky as Asia, where they already had a lot of entrepreneurship dating back generations and caught that wave.
“In Africa, when you really look at it deep down, we lack the entrepreneurship to match that boom in Asia. And we don’t have the capital markets to help drive the process. But it’s happening, slowly”.
Dangote also insisted that it was easier to be a businessman in a Western country than in Africa.
He said: “I think it’s easier, yeah. It’s more defined. You can plan better. You don’t have issues of currency devaluation. There’s more clarity.
“Yeah, it’s better. The difference is here the profit margins are huge—much larger. And if you are not a big player, you have no way of survival”.