Could Africa’s richest woman be the first female president of Angola?

Theodora Aidoo Jan 17, 2020 at 08:00am

January 17, 2020 at 08:00 am | News

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

January 17, 2020 at 08:00 am | News

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and the daughter of Angola’s former president - Pic Credit: Daniel Rodrigues/Bloomberg

The richest woman in Africa, Isabel Dos Santos, could be the first female president of Angola.

Notwithstanding her recent financial scandal, the Angolan billionaire has expressed interest in the presidency. Dos Santos and her associates are alleged to owe the state $1 billion which prosecutors are seeking to recover.

According to BBC, Ms Dos Santos declined four times to rule out running for the presidency.

The 46-year-old billionaire who said she has a strong sense of patriotism and duty to her country is currently out of her country. She said her life is at risk if she returned to Angola owing to the current situation.

She said: “To lead is to serve, so I will do whatever my life takes me”.

Ms Dos Santos reportedly told a Portuguese television channel that “it’s possible” she might run for the presidency in 2022.

This comes as a shock coming from a woman who is widely known as an entrepreneur with no interest in politics. Santos is one of the world’s richest women with an estimated fortune worth $2.2bn, making her the richest woman in Africa, according to Forbes.

Isabel dos Santos, the richest woman in Africa. Pic credit: The African Exponent

Until about two months ago, Santos, who had been serving as the head of Sonangol, is accused of ordering the suspicious transfer of funds and making questionable payments worth tens of millions of dollars, according to AFP.

These allegations emerged right after the new Angolan President Joao Lourenco fired her from Sonangol. Several local media stations have been reporting that the new management at the oil company has discovered a suspicious transfer of $67 million to Dubai.

But the illustrious businesswoman has emphatically refuted any misconduct on her part, terming the allegations of corruption as a smear campaign by her rivals.

“This fake news… doesn’t deserve any credibility since their only goal is to cast doubt on the integrity of Isabel dos Santos,” she wrote in a tweet.

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