Africa’s richest woman is in troubled waters

Angola’s Isabel dos Santos, who doubles as Africa’s richest woman, has lamented that her businesses are in trouble. This follows a series of crackdown on her family members, which resulted in her assets being frozen by a court order.

The billionaire is the daughter of Angola’s former leader, President Jose Eduardo, who governed the South-Central African country for decades amidst allegations of corruption.

Africa’s richest woman is in troubled waters 

Angola’s current President, President Joao Lourenco, said he was trying to rid the country of corruption. In doing that, he must undo some of the things done by his predecessor, including removing dos Santos as the Chairwoman of Angolan state-owned energy company, Sonangol.

Bloomberg also reported that two of the dos Santos’ siblings have been affected by the ongoing crackdown. One of them is Welwitschia dos Santos, a politician who was stripped of her parliamentary seat in October 2019. José Filomeno was also dragged to court in December last year over an alleged illegal transfer of $500 million out of the country.

In the meantime, the focus is on dos Santos and how recent developments are going to affect her wealth. She currently has a net worth of $2.2 billion, much of which she generated from her investments in oil and gas, as well as her stakes of Angola’s biggest telecom company, Unitel, as well as the Angolan bank Fomento de Angola. She also owns a number of other smaller businesses, including a supermarket, a mall, and a cinema. Activities in all these enterprises have now been halted by the asset freeze.

Please note that the asset freeze is in relation to allegations that over $1 billion was embezzled Angola’s diamond market firm, Sodiam, and Sonangol. Again, Isabel dos Santos was Chairwoman of Sonangol for some years.

Isabel dos Santos has since fled Angola, citing safety concerns in light of recent incidents. She has also denied the corruption allegations calling them “lies” and saying they are “politically motivated”.

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