Isabel dos Santos born 20 April 1973 an Angolan businesswoman, Africa’s richest woman With an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion, and the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the country from 1979 to 2017.
Isabel accumulated her wealth in oil, diamonds, as well as in the communications and banking sectors.
In the past 20 years Isabel dos Santos has held management positions in a number of companies listed on European stock exchanges.
Isabel dos Santos returned from London in the early 1990s to join her father in Luanda and started working as a project manager engineer for Urbana 2000, a subsidiary of Jembas Group, that had won a contract to clean and disinfect the city.
Following that, she set up a trucking business.
In 2013, according to research by Forbes, her net worth had reached more than three billion US dollars, making her Africa’s first billionaire woman.
In 1997, she started her first business, opening the Miami Beach Club, one of the first night clubs and beach restaurants on the Luanda Island.
Over a period of nearly 20 years she expanded her business interests, leading to the creation of several holdings, in Angola and mostly abroad, making substantial investments in high-profile entreprises, especially in Portugal.
A Forbes magazine article described in 2013 how Isabel dos Santos acquired her wealth by taking stakes in companies doing business in Angola, suggesting that her wealth comes almost entirely from her family’s power and connections.
In November 2015, the BBC named Isabel dos Santos as one of the 100 most influential women in the world. In June 2016, she was appointed by President dos Santos as chairwoman of Sonangol, the Angolan state oil company.From there, she started a trucking company to transport products for the club and other businesses.
In Angola, she’s the chairwoman of Unitel SA, one of the country’s largest mobile network companies, valued at more than $5 billion. She created Unitel in partnership with Portugal Telecom, after a tender process she considered fair.
Also through Unitel International Holding, a platform for Unitel investments where Portugal Telecom has no presence, she acquired the mobile operator T+, in Cape Verde and gained the license for the establishment of the second telecom operator in São Tomé and Príncipe.
Under this investment Isabel dos Santos announced during a visit to São Tomé and Príncipe that Unitel will invest in education in the country to train engineers, managers and other technicians and also focus on job creation.