According to Forbes, Isabel dos Santos is currently the richest woman in Africa, and the 9th wealthiest personality in the continent. As she will tell you, achieving this success was not a walk in the park. It took a lot of hard work and resilience, especially in the male-dominated world of business in Africa. Isabel dos Santos made her fortune by investing in the telecommunications, media, retail, energy, and finance sectors. As such, she is well-versed in what it takes to be successful in business.
Isabel dos Santos will tell you firsthand of the stigma and sexism directed towards women at the workplace in Africa. On many occasions, businessmen have looked to her male assistant or legal counsel for confirmation after she made an offer. She therefore fully understands that for African women to have an economic impact on the continent, they heed others who have gone before them to hold their hands.
Consequently, Isabel dos Santos engages in mentoring sessions with young African women, especially in her home country of Angola, to encourage them to take up opportunities available to them. She encourages these women to not only pursue their education but to also participate in business ventures within their local communities. Isabel dos Santos also brings their attention to the possibilities available in the tech industry. She is an advocate of giving women the same opportunities at the workplace as their male counterparts.
Through experience, Isabel dos Santos has observed that educating a woman greatly benefits a community since women always give back to their communities in one way or the other. To empower African women further, Isabel dos Santos engages in philanthropic ventures every so often. In Humpata town located in Huila, Angola, she established a strawberry farm that now employs approximately 120 women. This way, the women can contribute to the growth of their local economy through commerce.
Lastly, Isabel knows she cannot change the African continent on her own. Consequently, she is calling on other successful business leaders in Africa to take part in activities to empower the continent. Isabel dos Santos is of the school of thought that Africa has come this far because of the people’s resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. As such, Isabel dos Santos calls on other successful Africans to either set up their own initiatives to empower the people of Africa, or to join her in making the initiatives she has started successful.
Find more interesting facts on Dos Santos´life at https://www.crunchbase.com/person/isabel-dos-santos