Kase Lukman Lawal is one of the most successful business persons from Africa.
Kase Lawal Lukman was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria on the 30th of June 1954 and according to CNN: “he is the epitome of the American dream”. Lawal, a young and idealist student arriving in the United States, has built his own name in Oil & Gas, one of the world’s most competitive industries.
His Houston-based company CAMAC, now a multi-billion dollar empire, is one of the largest American black-owned companies, generating over $2 billion a year.
Founded nearly 25 years ago, Lawal built CAMAC (which stands for Cameroon-American) from a small agriculture business into a global oil company, but it has taken a lot of hard work, determination and guts to get him to the top.
In his teens, he became interested in America and its civil rights movement, having finally persuaded his brother, a local politician, to take him to America, Lawal went to Atlanta, then Houston, and attended Texas Southern University.
Lawal, like many of the other law students, began as a graduate in the energy industry after graduating with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering in 1976 and began his working career first as a Dresser Industries chemist with Halliburton and then as a Refining Co chemical engineer with Shell Oil .
Now married and settled, it wasn’t long before the innovative young Nigerian started to implement his business ideas.
He met his wife, Eileen through a friend of his, and they have three children together.
He founded CAMAC in 1986, a firm which traded agricultural commodities including sugar, tobacco and rice. In the early 90s, after the Nigerian government began developing its energy market, he made the leap into the energy sector.
Lawal was ideally positioned to draw major oil companies with his awareness of Nigeria. With his Houston contacts, CAMAC made an agreement with the oil giant Conoco in 1991 to jointly operate and share production from any Nigerian discovery.
This turned out to be a huge break for Lawal.
Lawal’s Houston-based business became an instant player in the energy sector with its political connections, regional market experience and now with the support of a major oil company and the company has maintained its market position till date.