Africa and its people are blessed with natural resources and brilliant minds. Some innovative minds have turned into these resources, building massive financial empires in the process.
Despite this, African women have often lagged behind their male counterparts, partly due to internalized patriarchal social systems.
However, some women have defied these shackles, and have become role models for young African girls. They have built huge companies and businesses, often to the utter amazement and envy of some men who consider the female species as a lesser being.
Some of these women include:
- Folorunshoo Alakija
Thanks to her extensive business holdings, Akija is currently the wealthiest woman in Africa.
Mrs. Alakija was born in the state of Lagos, Nigeria. In 1975, she landed her first job as a secretary.
She later started working for the First National Bank of Chicago, which later merged with FCMB.
After her stint in the financial industry, she left to form a tailoring company, Supreme Stitches.
While still running her fashion company, Alakija made a foray into the oil industry, setting up a joint venture with Texaco, after obtaining an oil exploration license.
She is the director of the Rose Sharon Group. Alakija is also the vice executive chairwoman of Famfa Oil.
Married with four children, Alakija’s net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion.
- Isabel Dos Santos
Dos Santos is one of Africa’s most known business women.
She was born in Luanda, Angola.
Her father is a former president of Angola. His reign lasted from 1979 to 2019.
She studied at King’s College in London. Her first job was as a project manager, working alongside her dad to clean and disinfect the city of Luanda. Isabel’s joint venture with her father was known as Urbana 2000, and helped kick start way into the top of the entrepreneurship niche.
She has bought and invested in Angolan companies, ranging from technology, environmental work, and cleaning. She owns a company called Zon Multimedia.
Her net worth is approximately $1.8 billion.
- Ngina Kenyatta
She was married to independent Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta.
Ngina was born in Ngenda, Kiambu, in 1933.
Due to her lofty position, Ngina has been able to invest in plantations ,hotels, ranches, and other profitable businesses.
Her family is also a majority shareholder in Kenya’s biggest milk processor, Brooksides Limited.
Her net worth is approximately $1 billion.
- Haija Bola Shagaya
Shagaya is one of Nigeria’s most known fashion icons.
She was born in Nigeria. Her mom was a seamstress, while her father was in the public service.
She studied for a degree in economics at Armstrong College, in the United States.
Shagaya’s first job was as an auditor in at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The business woman the ventured into imports and exports. She introduced to Nigerai Konica, a brand of photography products.
She is a board member of the Unity Bank in Nigeria.
Shagaya’s net worth is approximately $630 million.
- Wendy Appelbaum
Wendy is the richest woman in South Africa.
She was the deputy chairperson of Connection Group Holdings Ltd. She has been in finance and business for a long time, earning millions.
Appelbaum owns a hugely profitable wine farm in South Africa.
She is a big philanthropist. She provides annual breast exams throughout her birth country.
Appebaum’s net worth is approximately $260 million.