- Isabel dos Santos Career
- Investment And Shareholdings
Africa Facts Zone presents Angolan businesswoman, once Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos. Born 20 April 1973 in Baku Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic SSR where her parents had met. Isabel dos Santos is the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the country from 1979 to 2017 and his first wife, Tatiana Kukanova, a chess champion whom he met while studying in the then Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.
After her parents divorced, she moved to London with her Mum and attended the all girls boarding school in Kent, Cobham Hall School and did A-levels at St Paul’s girls’ school.
Subsequently, she attended King’s College, London and bagged a degree in Electrical Engineering. There she met her husband Sindika Dokolo a Congolese businessman and art collector. Sindika owns the biggest collection of African art in the world and he is the son of a millionaire from Kinshasa and his Danish wife.
They got married in 2002 in Luanda and their union is blessed with three children. She is also fluent in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Isabel dos Santos Career
After graduating, she worked at an accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand now PwC. Isabel Dos Santos then returned from London to Angola in the 90s at a time when the Civil war was almost over to join her father in Luanda and started working as a Project Manager Engineer in a joint venture by Jembas (Angola) and Rodiek (Germany), leading a waste management and recycling facility that had won a contract to clean and disinfect the city.
In 1997, she established her first business, Miami Beach Club, one of the clubs and beach restaurants on the Luanda Island, Angola.
Next, she built a beverage logistics distribution company, then set up a walkie-talkie and tower relay system. Also, she invested in Unitel in 2001 – the biggest mobile phone provider in Angola revolutionizing Angolan telecommunications and introducing international call services and 4G Internet access.
Additionally, in 2015, she founded a retail chain Candando with hypermarkets and shopping malls in Angola. Aside from that, her business empire include assets in cement, diamond, oil, telecoms, banks, supermarket network, and brewery in Angola, across Africa, and Europe.
Investment And Shareholdings
Isabel dos Santos has investments in several companies. For instance, aside Unitel, she also holds shares in Bianco BIC, ZON Multimedia, Bianco BPI, Nova Cimangola 16, Santoro Finance, Trans Africa Investment Services, Esperaza, Condis, Eurobic, Efacec, Galp Energia and many others.
However, there have been allegations levied against her in Angola and Portugal. They include; embezzlement and money laundering which led to her account being frozen by the two governments.
Isabel stated that the allegations are misleading and untrue. According to her, “this is a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack. I have engaged lawyers to take action against inaccurate defamatory reports and allegations.”
For more than 2 decades, Isabel held management positions in several companies listed on European Stock exchanges. For instance, in 2016, her father appointed her, the chairwoman of Sonangol, the Angolan state oil company. But João Lourenço, the new Angolan President removed her on his assumption to office in 2017. However, she still holds position in the following companies;
- Chairman of the Board of Director, Unitel
- Board member and shareholder at Nos SGPS (formerly Zon)
- Founding Member and Shareholder, Bianco BIC and
- Member of Board, Bank EuroBic and Efacec
- Board Member and Shareholder, Bianco BPI
- Founder, digital satellite Tv Operator, Zap now Angola’s number one TV distribution company
- Chairwoman, Angolan Red Cross
Isabel Dos Santos Quotes
“I think there are a lot of people with family connections but who are actually nowhere. If you are hardworking and determined, you will make it and that’s the bottom line. I don’t believe in an easy way through.”
“Creating opportunities and employment for women means betting on the progress of the communities themselves. When they thrive, women invest their income in the family, health and education. I value this as a sense of duty, commitment, and dedication. The impact that women create around them is powerful and transformative.”
“Leverage your pre-existing talents and knowledge. If you’re going into a field that you know or have past experience with then you have a competitive edge.”
“I believe that goals are achieved when ambition is combined with skill and determination.”
“Be willing to assess yourself and determine exactly what it is that you’re capable of doing best. If you have weaknesses in certain areas, develop them into strengths.”
“Extraordinary times requires extraordinary measures, and extraordinary people.”
“I believe that we must start giving the prominence that girls truly deserve, because, one day they will be mothers and they will be the education book for their children.”
Source Credit: Enterprenuers