JOHANNESBURG - Forbes recently released its annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017, surprisingly the only African to have made the cut this year is the daughter of outgoing Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel dos Santos.
Other powerful women on the list include British Prime Minister, Theresa May, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Dos Santos, who's career in investment and corporate finance has seen her become a controlling shareholder of a Portuguese telecommunications firm, is currently ranked as the richest woman in Africa, with an estimated net worth of R49 billion.
Her interests range from a 42 percent stake in Banco BIC, one of the largest banks in Angola to a 25 percent shares Angola’s largest mobile phone network company as well as a 6 percent ownership of Galp Energia, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Portugal.
Despite her impressive acquisitions, dos Santos and her family are no strangers to controversy with direct links to corruption allegations. From accusations of looting public funds to kickbacks in exchange for lucrative government contracts.
The recent massive data leak that's been dubbed the Paradise Papers has fingered a close friend of Jose Filomeno, brother to Isabel Dos Santos for making over half a billion rand in profit within just 20 months of managing the Angolan people's fund. Dos Santos however, has maintained that all her investments, both in Angola and abroad are aboveboard.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE