Wealthy Women In Africa: Forbes Top Ten Richest Women In Africa

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Not surprisingly many rich women all over the world inherited their wealth from their father or spouse and the richest women from Africa are not an exception.

Though Africa remains a continent where women are generally not allowed to exercise their ideas and experience when compared to their western counterparts, the influx of higher standards of education are now giving them a chance to experience freedom and the opportunity to become more enterprising.

Here are the Top 10 richest women in Africa who have proven their worth and stood out from the crowd.

  1. Isabel Dos Santos

Country: Angola

Estimated Net Worth: $3.7 billion

Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of the wealthy Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Although coming from a rich family she has been able to set a pace for herself. Currently she is in the board of directors of several companies in Portugal and Angola.

She also has shares in several others companies including the Angolan Cement Company Cimivest, Energies de Portugal, Portuguese Media conglomerate Zon Multimedia, The Banco Africano de Investimentos and Banco Espirito Santo (the latter two being Portuguese Banks).

She is the first African woman to reach the $1 billion mark, making her the first African woman to become to a billionaire.

She is currently Africa’s richest woman

  1. Folorunso Alakija

Country: Nigeria

Estimated Net Worth: $2.5 billion

62 years old Folorunso Alakija rose to the billionaire status thanks to her gas and oil exploration and production company FAMFA Oil. She is also a fashion designer and the Executive Director of FAMFA Oil.

She studied fashion design in the United Kingdom and started her fashion house company: Supreme Stitches in 1985 in her home country. She rose to prominence as the largest fashion designer in Nigeria within a year.

  1. Ngina Kenyatta

Country: Kenya

Popularly known as “Mama Ngina” Ngina is the former First Lady of Kenya, she is the mother of the current President Uhuru Kenyatta and the widow of the country’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta.

Although, her estimated net worth is unknown, she is known to hold stakes in major companies, making it impossible to compile this list without her.

She is a major shareholder in the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which is one of the largest privately owned banks in Kenya; she also owns a chain of hotel. A owner of Brookside Daries which is a market leader in the East African dairy industry, Media Max; a media company and Timsales Timber.

  1. Hajia Bola Shagaya

Country: Nigeria

Bola Shagaya is the second Nigerian woman to appear on this list. She is the founder and CEO of the conglomerate Bolmus Group Internation with interest in oil, banking and real estate. She is also a broad member of Unity Bank PLC.

Her investment interests are mostly in the oil sector, banking and finance and real estate. Her investments are endless, also being a board member of the National Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD).

  1. Wendy Appelbaum

Country: South Africa

Estimated Net Worth: $259.3 million

Just like many wealthy women all over the world Wendy became a millionaire when she became the director of her father’s insurance and real estate  company; Liberty Investors and then sold her stake to rake in her fortune. She is the only daughter of South African billionaire Donald Gordon, Applebaum.

Wendy also has several investments and interests which is one of the reasons why she still remains on this list. She invested in DeMorgenzon, a wine estate and was once the Deputy Chairman of Women’s Investment Portfolio Limited (Wiphold).

  1. Wendy Ackerman

Country: South Africa

Estimated Net Worth: $190.2 million

Most of the Ackerman’s wealth comes from owning a 50% stake in the major South African grocery chain Pick ‘n’ Pay. The company was acquired by her husband Raymond Ackerman from its founder Mr. Jack Goldin.

The company is reported worth over $3 billion with outlets all over African countries like Mozambiique, Zambia, Nambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and even in Australia.

  1. Bridget Radebe

Country: South Africa

Radebe is one of the African women known to overcome of the gender discrimination and the marginalization facing women in Africa.  She is the first black woman in the country to own a mining company South African Mining Development Association after working in the mines for years.

She is currently the president of the company and is also the founder of Mmakau Mining another mining firm with assets in gold, uranium, chrome, coal and platinum.

Her current net worth remains unconfirmed.

  1. Sharon Wapnick

Country: South Africa

Estimated Net Worth: $43.1 million

Wapnick acquired her wealth from various investments, but she is most notable for stepping into the role of non – executive chairman of Octodec Investments and Premium Properties, a company founded by her father Alec whom she replaced.

She is also an attorney and a partner at a Johannesburg based commercial law firm; TWB Attorneys. Her other investments are in the real estate industry.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley

Country: South Africa

In 1961, Albert Wessels, Bradley father brought Toyota to South Africa under the holding company Wesco Investments. In 2008, Bradley sold its 25% stake in Toyota South Africa to Japans Toyota Motor Corp for $320 million, with Bradley pocketing almost half of it.

She is also the director of AngloGold and a board member in blue chip companies such as Hilton Hotel, Standard Bank Group and Roseback Inn.

  1. Irene Charnley

Country: South Africa

Born in 6 May 1960, Charnley has grown into a prominent businesswoman and business magnate. She first made her mark on the African business community as a negotiator for the South African National Union of Mineworkers.

Currently, she is the CEO of Smile Telecoms, a telecommunications products company in Mauritius. She was the Executive Director at telecommunications giant, MTN although she left the company in 2007 under controversial circumstances.

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