July 24, 2021

Isabel dos Santos and Alakija, the richest women in Africa

Isabela dos Santos et Alakija

On the list of the richest people in Africa for the year 2021 published by the American economic magazine Forbes, only seven countries have billionaires, and among these, no women. Folorunsho Alakija from Nigeria and Isabel dos Santos from Angola on the 2020 African billionaire list.

Forbes recently released their list of the richest people in Africa for the year 2021. Out of 54 African countries, only 7 of them have billionaires and the list does not include women. As it turns out, Folorunsho Alakija from Nigeria and Isabel dos Santos from Angola were in the 2020 African billionaire list. But, they do not appear in the 2021 publication, because they had fallen below the threshold of 1 billion dollars (540.2 billion FCFA), according to the calculation of their wealth.

Folorunsho Alakija, according to Forbes, is Nigeria’s richest woman. She is vice president of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset. His first business was a fashion brand whose clients included the wife of former Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida. In 1993, it obtained an oil prospecting license which was then converted into an oil exploitation lease.

Forbes notes that Alakija’s value has fallen below $ 1 billion (FCFA 540.2 billion) due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has affected oil prices. In March 2020, oil prices fell to levels not seen since 2002, due to a drop in demand for crude oil amid Covid-19. The fall in crude oil prices affected the sums that were due to him on his oil field.

Angolan Isabel dos Santos, on the other hand, fell below the billion mark following a series of lawsuits freezing her assets in Angola and Portugal. In 2020, she was accused by the Attorney General of Angola of embezzlement and money laundering. Since 2013, Forbes has named her the richest woman in Africa, worth an estimated $ 3.5 billion (over FCFA 1,890 billion).

Her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, was the long-time former President of Angola and is believed to have acquired her wealth through the influence of the latter, who ruled the country, from 1979 to 2017. Forbes calculated her wealth assuming she has no access and is likely unlikely to regain control of assets, worth a total of around $ 1.6 billion (over $ 864 billion , 4 billion FCFA) if they are not frozen. Before the last publication, its estimated value was $ 2.2 billion (over FCFA 1,188 billion).

Remember that Forbes names Aliko Dangote of Nigeria as the richest man in Africa with an estimated value of 12.1 billion dollars (6 537 billion FCFA), an increase of 2 billion dollars (1,080 billion FCFA) from last year’s listing, thanks to a roughly 30% rise in the share price of Dangote Cement, by far its most valuable asset. The second richest African is Egyptian Nassef Sawiris, whose main asset is an almost 6% stake in sportswear maker Adidas. His fortune is estimated at 8.5 billion dollars (more than 4,592 billion FCFA).