The African continent, since the last two decades, reveals great influential and very rich personalities who have made fortune in various and complementary fields. Among these personalities, some African women have also been able to make their way and have managed to identify themselves among the powerful personalities of the continent. So who are the richest women in Africa? What are their fortunes based on? It is quite important to look back at the lives of these influential women of the continent.
1- Isabel Dos Santos
Born on April 20, 1973 in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and daughter of former Angolan President José Edouardo Dos Santos, Isabel Dos Santos is ranked in first place, according to Forbes magazine, of the richest women on the continent. According to the same magazine, her fortune was estimated in January 2020 at 2.2 billion dollars, making her the first African woman billionaire in US dollars.
Isabel Dos Santos is described by the Portuguese magazine Publico as “a woman of good business, extremely intelligent and dynamic“. Already at the age of 24 she entered the business world using the influence of her father. Isabel Dos Santos quickly became a key figure in business from managing the family’s assets by creating several holdings to acquire ownership and participation in certain companies in Angola and Portugal.
In November 2015, the BBC voted Isabel Dos Santos as one of the 100 most influential women in the world because of her leading role in the economy and development of Africa.
2- Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunsho Alkija is a 70-year-old Nigerian businesswoman who made her fortune in the oil sector. According to Forbes magazine, her wealth is estimated at 1.6 billion US dollars.
She began her career as a secretary at Merchant Bank of Nigeria in the early 1970s. She then went on to study fashion at the American College in London and the Central school of Fashion which helped her launch her brand Supreme Stitches on her return, which is mainly aimed at the privileged class. In 1986, she won the award for best designer in Nigeria.
In May 1993, she acquired an oil exploration license, Block OPL 216, which is 250,000 hectares wide. The oil in Block 216 is estimated at 1 billion barrels according to Star Deep Water Petroleum.
On the side, Nigeria’s most powerful woman spends other time as a writer and philanthropist. She has been president of the Rose of Sharon foundation since 2003 and president of the Nigerian Fashion Designers Association.
3- Haija Bola Shagaya
Hajia Bola Shagaya is the founder and CEO of Bolmus Group International, a Nigerian conglomerate involved in oil, real estate, banking, retail and communications.
After studying the market and its opportunities, Bola Shagaya started importing and distributing photographic equipment. She succeeded in introducing the Konica brand in the Nigerian market and in West Africa. This is how the company Fotofair Nigeria Limited was born, which today owns nearly thirty photo labs throughout the country.
In 2005, she became the Managing Director of Pract oil Limited, Nigeria’s leading oil importer and distributor and founded her own exploration company Voyage Oil and Gas Limited in 2011.
She is currently on the board of Unity Bank Plc (formerly Intercity Bank) for over eight years. She is also a member of the recently inaugurated Nepad Business Group – Nigeria. Hajia Bola Shagaya is a patron of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) and a fashion and art enthusiast who supports and promotes the fashion and art industry. She also enjoys sports, especially polo. On July 22, 2010, she was awarded the title of Member of the Order of the Niger by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR).
4- Patricia Poku Diaby
Patricia Poku is a Ghanaian businesswoman, cocoa trader and CEO of Plot Entreprise Ghana limited which is a cocoa processing industry. With an estimated wealth of 720 million US Dollars, she is ranked the 8th richest person in Ghana among 80 powerful men in the country and therefore the richest woman in Ghana.
5- Theresa Oppong-Beeko
Theresa Oppong Beeko , founder and CEO of Manet Incorporated overcame the challenges of being in a notoriously tricky industry and the inevitable gender barriers of being a woman in a still male-dominated industry to embark on a path of entrepreneurship that has proven difficult to follow. With her extensive local knowledge and understanding of the needs of the Ghanaian market and her sensitivity to the demands of the Ghanaian people, this extraordinary woman has been at the forefront of real estate development and the hospitality industry in Ghana for over a decade, having raised the bar with regards to the standards the industry has adhered to.
The Manet Group comprises Manet Housing: (A property development company), Manet Paradise (A three star hotel complex), Manet Construction (A civil engineering company) and Manet Towers Limited (A single purpose office supply and management company).
In 2010, recipient of the Gold Medal for Ghana from (ABI – USA) for his courage, passion, success, excellence, virtue, spirit and commitment to providing affordable housing for the Ghanaian people. On October 26, 2012, MANET was presented with the 2012 Global Property Award dubbed “Property Walk of Fame” at the 5th Ghana Property Awards held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.
Currently, Theresa Oppong-Beeko is the second richest woman in Ghana with a net worth of $420 million.