(Business in Cameroon) - According to the Senegalese press, no businessman has ever received such a welcome under Macky Sall’s turn as head of Senegal. Indeed, at the invitation of the Senegalese Head of State, Cameroonian billionaire Alhadji Baba Danpullo, presented by Forbes magazine as the richest man in francophone sub-Saharan Africa, was received in Dakar at the end of July 2017.
Within 48 hours, we learn from the Senegalese press as well as from the close entourage of the businessman hailing from Ndawara, in North-West Cameroon; Alhadji Baba Danpullo received a welcome fit for a prince: meeting at the presidential palace; awarding of the Golden Lion medal, the highest Senegalese honour; prayer at the Dakar mosque, with President Macky Sall...
But, beyond these etiquette disguises, the key moment during the visit of the richest businessman in francophone sub-Saharan Africa in Senegal, was certainly the meeting between the large delegation accompanying the “King of tea” (among them was Mohamoudou Ahidjo, son of the first Cameroonian president, Ahmadou Ahidjo, buried in Dakar, Ed.), the public authorities and Senegalese investors.
This meeting was the chance for some, fo present the different opportunities offered by Senegal in terms of investments; and for others, to explore the most profitable ones. According to our sources, investments in real estate and the food industry particularly interested the Cameroonian billionaire, who then set off for Guinea Bissau.
There again, the red carpet was rolled out: welcome party headed by the Prime Minister, Oumarou Sissoko Ambalo, at the airport with a banner in Portuguese, then reception at the presidential palace with the Bissau Guinean Head of State. On this occasion, President José Mário Vaz did not hide from Baba Danpullo the reason for his invitation to his country: see the Cameroonian billionaire take an active role in the economic development of Guinea Bissau, by massively investing in the country.
After reassuring the Bissau Guinean Head of State on his intention to seize all investment opportunities offered by his country, as he had done days prior with Macky Sall in Senegal; Alhadji Baba Danpullo then invited the Bissau Guinean political class, in a country often prey to political instability, to work towards fostering peace in the country, the best guarantee to attract investors.
Impressed by the quality of the welcome offered to him in Senegal as well as Guinea Bissau, as advised by the entourage of the Ndawara billionaire, Alhadji Baba Danpullo is planning to further invest in these two countries, where he already owns assets. In the coming years, we learned, the Cameroonian billionaire is looking to invest several billions of FCfa, as is already the case in Nigeria and South Africa, the two African countries where the richest man in francophone sub-Saharan Africa is best implanted.
At the head of a fortune valued at about FCfa 550 billion by Forbes magazine, Alhadji Baba Danpullo is a former trucker who became wealthy through investing in real estate, telecoms and agro-industry; in Cameroon as well as Africa and Europe.
Brice R. Mbodiam