African entrepreneur Aliko Dangote has been named among the top 25 people who have had the biggest impact on business in the last 25 years.

The list, compiled by business news network CNBC, highlights those who, according to CNBC, have disrupted industries, sparked change and exercised an influence far beyond their own companies.

“As CNBC embarks on its second quarter-century, it faces a world completely altered from when it started. The 25 men and women listed [here], from different parts of the world and across different industries, have, for better or worse, been the rebels, icons and leaders in the vanguard of that change,” it said.

Dangote, who recently featured in the 2014 Forbes Billionaires List, ranked 23rd in CNBC’s First 25 list.

“Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, built his fortune in two distinct phases, riding the changes that led to Nigeria becoming the continent’s largest economy,” CNBC said.

“Expanding his empire from his native country to West Africa, and then across sub-Saharan Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa, Dangote showed that it was possible to create wealth in the region by means other than tapping the continent’s abundant natural resources.”

The business news network added that Dangote’s proposed building of an oil refinery is typical of his vision and will allow him to move into producing fertiliser and polypropylene as well.

“Dangote’s model was straightforward from the get-go: to dominate sectors protected from new entrants, and to use scale and his trucking and distribution system to drive prices down to levels that let him crush domestic rivals. He has pursued success with single-minded focus, and has many critics,” said CNBC.

“Nigeria will get cheaper petroleum products than those it now has to import, which will boost Dangote’s Nigerian businesses and the economy overall. As Africa’s largest economy a more vigorous Nigerian economy will help lift growth across the continent, which is where Dangote’s ambitions also now more broadly lie.”

The list also features the likes of Apple’s Steve Jobs, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Sergey Brin‚ Larry Page and Eric Schmidt – Google’s internet and media disruptors as well as Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

“The list is heavy on technology and why not? Hasn’t the major story of the past quarter-century been the changes wrought by technology? That surely doesn’t mean that every tech titan made the First 25,” said CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen.

“We made the decision early on to eliminate heads of government and state from our deliberations. This is a list, after all, about business people, not politicians. This not a list of billionaires, though many of the people on it are. Money is not the measure. Revolutionary or evolutionary, impact is.”

Source : CNBC

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