Earlier this month, news broke that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has pledged to build 11 new health centers in Kano, a large state in Nigeria’s Northwestern region. This contribution is part of a long-term effort to eradicate polio from the region, while promoting wellness and improving primary health care in Kano.
According to the Daily Post Nigeria, Dangote, who is chairman of the eponymous Dangote Foundation, made the generous pledge during a video conference with Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Governor of Kano, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. “The purpose of the video conference, which was coordinated from the Kano government House, was to hold a 2014 mid-year review of their tripartite partnership on routine immunization,” reports Forbes contributor Mfonobong Nsehe. “In 2012, the Kano state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dangote Foundation to support a free routine immunization exercise in the state,” Nsehe explains.
According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria is one of three countries that remain at-risk for widespread outbreaks of polio. Kano, because of its historically under-immunized population of children, is one of the most vulnerable parts of the country. Dangote, who ranks as Africa’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $25.9 billion, has a personal connection to Kano because he was born there. Dangote knows firsthand about the looming threat of polio and other diseases, and is doing his part to improve the health care system in his hometown.
“He said he was encouraged to build the new centers because of the commitment of the state government towards providing better healthcare services for the people,” says Nsehe. “He assured Governor Kwankwaso that his foundation will work with the Kano state government to strengthen its immunization programme.”
Learn more about Aliko Dangote, his foundation, and his commitment to philanthropy by visiting dangote.com.