The bromance between Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and Bill Gates took root even before they met officially.
A couple of years earlier, the two attended the same event in New York and a mutual friend proposed they meet.
“He [the mutual friend] knew we were both super interested in global health. So, we made sure to sit next to each other at dinner,” Gates recollected in a piece published on Gatesnotes on October 1.
Immediately they took each other’s hand it was clear they had so much in common. They had both started “successful businesses” in the late 70s.
Gates founding Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975, growing to become the world’s largest personal computer company. Dangote, on the other hand, founded the Dangote Group which owns and operates more than 18 subsidiaries across a range of industries.
Again, they both established foundations to improve health and education.
“More importantly, we both love to geek out over things that make some people’s eyes glaze over, like cement, fertilizer, and iodized salt,” Gates said.
That first meeting sparked the beginning of a fruitful friendship and in 2016, their foundations announced a joint, five-year $100 million commitment to reducing malnutrition in Nigeria.
Malnutrition is the greatest health inequity in the world. It is responsible for nearly half of all under five deaths in Nigeria (and around the world). Even if you survive to adulthood, your chances of dying are much higher, and your quality of life is greatly reduced.