How Bill Gates And Aliko Dangote Became Friends

Have you ever met someone new and immediately felt like you could talk to them for hours?

That happened the first time I met Aliko Dangote. A couple years ago, he and I ended up going to the same event in New York. A mutual friend suggested that I meet him because he knew we were both super interested in global health. So we made sure to sit next to each other at dinner.

As soon as we shook hands, it was clear we had a ton in common. We both started successful businesses in the late 1970s. For our second act in life, we both chose to start foundations aimed at improving health and education. (Today, the Dangote Foundation is the largest such organization in sub-Saharan Africa.)

More importantly, we both love to geek out over things that make some people’s eyes glaze over, like cement, fertilizer, and iodized salt. Check out this video of Aliko’s recent visit to our foundation’s office in Seattle for proof:

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