Isabel dos Santos, the richest and most influential woman in Africa

Isabel dos Santos is current Africa’s wealthiest and most influential woman. She is the eldest child of the former president of Angola, Eduardo dos Santos. Isabel is a Russian-Angolan businesswoman who according to the Forbes research on 2013, her net worth was slightly more than two billion US dollars making her the first African woman to become a billionaire.

Isabel dos Santos Career.

For over 22 years, Isabel dos Santos has managed a dozen companies all of which are listed in the European Stock Exchange market. She returned to Angola in 1990 from London where she started working as a project manager engineer a subsidiary of Jembas Group known as Urbana 2000. The company had won a cleaning and disinfecting Angolan cities contract.

After Isabel dos Santos left Urbana 2000, she started her own trucking business, and later she ventured into telecoms. She ventured into the telecom due to the widespread use of the walkie-talkie technology. She saw a business niche and hence decided to utilize it.

At the age of 24, dos Santos started her first investment by opening the first beach restaurant and nightclubs known as the Miami Beach Club in the Luanda Island. Isabel expanded her business interests in two decades where she started venturing in the creation of several holding companies in Angola and also abroad. Isabel dos Santos made extensive investments in high profile businesses overseas, and mainly in Portugal.



Isabel dos Santo’s interests in the fields of media, energy, retail, finance, and telecommunication among others saw her expand her investments in both Portugal and Angola. Isabel started buying shares in different companies such as the Angola cement company and the Nova Cimangola Jadeium where she purchased a 4.918% worth of shares.

Isabel dos Santos is the primary shareholder in ZON Multimedia with a stake of 29%. Isabel also is a board member of the Angolan bank based in Lisbon. She also owns 20% shares at the Banco Portuguese de Investimento through her company Santro Holdings.

Isabel dos Santos has other significant shares in the Sonangol, an Angolan state oil company. She bought the shares through a joint family company, European Holdings that is based in the Netherlands which is known as Esperanza Holdings.

Isabel dos Santos is also among the founding members and a board member of the Banco BIC Portugues. The Banco Portugues recently acquired the nationalized bank Banco Portugues de Negocios.


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