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Africa needs education to harness growth: Dangote

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, has told CNBC the continent needs to invest in infrastructure and education to grow further and harness more opportunities.

The Nigerian billionaire, who is president and CEO of the Dangote manufacturing group, also said that although investing in Africa had its risks, they came alongside huge returns.

"Yes we have pockets of conflicts here and there, but you know, we are actually resolving those issues," he said. "There is nowhere else you can make a profit of 30 percent and that's what you are getting in Africa."

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Dangote - who is a co-chair at this year's Davos- wants global leaders and business executives to have a general discussion about finding solutions to the world's problems.

He said Africa was better at resolving its issues than it had been in the past, but stressed that it needed a more educated society to be able to attract further investment.

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"In Africa we are really just starting out our trajectory, and actually there is no way for us to get to the promised land unless we do two things," he said.

"No. 1 is to invest heavily in infrastructure, No. 2 is to invest heavily in education. Because if you don't really invest in education today, even when you have the opportunities, you are not going to harness those opportunities."

Dangote was buoyed by the increased budgets that some African countries were allocating to education and added that previous Davos events had helped boost investment in the continent.

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Many of the world's most influential business leaders, politicians and economists descend on the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos on Wednesday for the WEF annual meeting, which was founded in 1971.

According to Forbes, which ranks the business magnate as Africa's richest man, Dangote had a net worth of over $20 billion in November 2013.

His Dangote Group - based in Lagos, Nigeria - is a diversified business conglomerate in Africa with interests in cement, real estate and several types of foodstuffs.