Isabel dos Santos: Influential Woman

Isabel dos Santos is a businesswoman hailing from Angola, Africa, and the eldest child of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos. She is the richest woman in Africa to date, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $3 billion US dollars in 2013, also making her the first billionaire African woman. In 2015, BBC put Isabel dos Santos on the list of the 100 most influential women in the world.

Isabel dos Santos’ education began at the Cobham Hall, an all-girls boarding school in Kent, in the United Kingdom. She later studied electrical engineering at King’s College in London, England, where she would meet her husband Sindika Dokolo, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After school Isabel dos Santos would hold multiple management and organization positions before going home to work with her father as project manager engineer for Urbana 2000, a subsidiary for Jembas Group, after winning a contract to disinfect and clean the city.

Though she was a successful manager and engineer in her own right, most of dos Santos’ wealth came from investments. The savvy business woman has interests in (isabeldossantos) telecommunications, retail, finance, media and the energy industry, and has expanded purchase of shares into both Angola and Portugal. Also, Jadeium, a company that is directly held by Isabel dos Santos, has acquired almost 5% of the shares of ZON Multimedia, a subdivision of Telefonica based in Spain. And through Unitel International Holdings BV based in the Netherlands, of whom dos Santos is also the owner, she holds the majority stock of anyone in ZON, after Unitel International’s acquisition of almost 29% of the media company. Isabel is also both the founder and board member of Banco BIC Portugues, which also acquired Banco Portugues de Negocios, and international Portuguese bank.

Overall, dos Santos continues to be an incredibly influential business woman, and her acquisitions continue to expand at a staggering rate. At this rate, Isabel dos Santos could easily overtake some of the world’s leaders in wealth within the next decade. With her knowledge of business and investments and aggressive stock purchasing strategies, she has earned the rank of the one of the world’s 100 most influential women.

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