Amid international concern about terrorism in the region – highlighted by the kidnap of more than 200 school girls – he said that creating jobs was key to ending the insurgency.
Mr Dangote was speaking at the World Economic Forum, being held in Nigeria.
The Dangote Group has interests stretching from cement to food.
The businessman – who is Africa’s richest man – also told the forum that his company would invest a total of $12bn in Nigeria, and $4bn outside the country, over the next four years.
China also promised further investment in Africa.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gave a speech in which he pledged “no strings” support for an African plan to develop a continent-wide high speed rail network.
He said China had set aside $2bn for an African Development Fund.
But he promised that China would not interfere in African nations’ internal affairs, a reference to the West, which often attaches human rights and democracy conditions to financial aid.