The richest man in Africa, Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote, has criticised South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws, likening them to a forced marriage.
Dangote, whose assets in South Africa are worth approximately $600-million, told Business Day that Nigeria had similar laws in the past and all that they succeeded in doing was discouraging investment in Nigeria.
Comparing the laws to a forced marriage, he is quoted by Business Day as saying: “If I want to invest and then I am forced into a marriage with someone who does not have the same appetite as me, or who does not have the equity behind them, then we have a problem.”
The businessman, who fills the 43rd spot on Forbes’ richest list, believes that the BEE laws only benefit a small percentage of the population. He argues that the legislation needs to be reviewed if South Africa hopes to attract more investment and bring about real economic empowerment.
He told Business Day that South Africa should be encouraging other Africans to participate in its economy.
“The whole world needs capital,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “If you make it difficult for me to invest in one country, then I will move my capital somewhere else where it is easier to invest.