She was born in Azerbaijan and educated in England, but it is in Angola where Isabel dos Santos has found her success. The daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel has found so much success in the business world that she is listed as the richest woman on the African continent. Forbes magazine lists her net worth at more than $3 billion.
Shortly after her schooling at London’s King’s College, Isabel dos Santos returned to Angola to take a job with Urbana 2000, which was tasked with cleaning the capital city of Luanda. A few years later, in 1997, dos Santos opened her first business, the Miami Beach Club on Luanda Island. From there, her business success continued as she purchased interests in various industries in both Angola and Portugal. She became a board member for Banco BIC Português in Lisbon and the majority shareholder for ZON Multimedia. In 2016, she was appointed the President of Sonangol, Angola’s state run oil company.
In April 2018, Isabel dos Santos was invited to speak to the Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development. Part of a group of 13 speakers, dos Santos spoke of developing a new economic model for not only Angola, but all of Africa. She explained one reason for this is that Africa has the highest concentration of young people in the world, and more opportunities must be created for them. Isabel dos Santos also focused on improving environmental conditions on the continent. She said it is imperative to develop clean energy, ensure clean water for the population, and to efficiently dispose of the by products of using natural resources. Along with her appearance at Yale, dos Santos also spoke at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s “LSE Africa Summit 2017.”
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