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Isabel dos Santos only African on Forbes 2017 '100 most powerful women'

Isabel dos Santos only African on Forbes 2017 '100 most powerful women'


Africa’s richest woman and daughter of the immediate past Angolan leader, Isabel dos Santos is the 74th most powerful woman in the world.

The 44-year-old was also the only African to have made it to Forbes magazine’s ranking of the top 100 women for this year.

Isabel who is currently head of the national oil firm, Sonangol, is believed to be worth $3.4bn as of November 2017. Her business interests are in the area of finance and investment.

FORBES research claims to have found that her dad had transferred stakes in several Angolan companies to her.

Some milestones and achievement she has achieved include:

  • June 2016: She was appointed her the head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm.
  • Her assets in Angola include 25% of Unitel, the country’s largest mobile phone network, and 42% of a bank, Banco BIC.
  • In Portugal she owns nearly 6% of oil and gas firm Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim).
  • She also holds nearly 19% of Banco BPI, the country’s fourth-largest bank
  • She is also a controlling shareholder of Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS (formerly called Zon).

Despite October 2015 calls by four members of the European Parliament calling for a probe into her Portuguese investments, a family spokesman fends off the allegations.

He told Forces that “Isabel dos Santos is an independent business woman and a private investor representing solely her own interests. Her investments in Angolan and/or in Portuguese companies are transparent and have been conducted through arms length’s transactions involving external entities such as reputed banks and law firms.”

Other key facts about Isabel - The source of her wealth is largely in telecoms and banking industry.

  • She ranks 74th on the Forbes Power Women list.
  • She occupies #630 on global billionaires list but ranks #8 in Africa.
  • She is married with three children and resides in Luanda – the Angolan capital.
  • Her wealth started off at $500m in 2012. It peaked to $3.7bn in November 2014. It has since the lowest it has fallen is $3bn in March 2016.

Forbes 100 women: Top 10 ranking

According to the ranking that was published recently, the German chancellor Angela Merkel was ranked the most powerful woman. She is followed by the British Prime Minister, Theresa May in second place.

Third, fourth and fifth places were occupied by Melinda Gates (of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation), Sheryl Sandberg (U.S. tech executive) and Mary Teresa Barry (CEO, General Motors) respectively.

The sixth to tenth slot is as follows: Susuan Wojcicki, Abigail Johnson, Christine Lagarde, Anna Patricia Botin and Ginni Rometty.

Other prominent women and their respective positions on the ranking are as follows. Federica Mogherini of the E.U. (17th), Ivanka Trump daughter of U.S. president (19th), Oprah Winfrey (21st), Judges of the U.S. Supreme Court (24th).

Queen Elizabeth II (26th), Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi (33rd), UAE’s Shekiha Lubna Al-Qasim (36th), U.S. envoy to the U.N., Nikki Haley (43rd), Beyonce Knowles (50th), Hillary Clinton (65th) and Priscilla Chan Zuckerburg – wife of Facebook CEO (69th).

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