Women in Africa have come a long way. In almost all the indigenous cultures across the continent, they were considered less valuable. To some extent, their husbands owned them like property. African women could not pursue education, vote or even own property. Traditions also barred them from inheriting wealth from parents.
A lot has definitely changed and now gender equality has been largely embraced. Empowerment brought about a new breed of enterprising African women who have managed to excel in their various fields. By doing so, they have proven that they’re as capable as their male counterparts, if not better, when provided with similar opportunities. The chain reaction created has in turn inspired many other women to reach for the stars. This is the list of the top 10 richest African women:
10. Elisabeth Bradley, Net Worth $32 Million
In 1961, Albert Wessels, Eslisabeth’s father, made history by being the first person to bring the Toyota brand to South Africa. Her massive wealth comes from assets and investments. She was the chairperson of Wesco Investments and is currently the vice-chairperson of Toyota South Africa.
9. Sharon Wapnick, Net Worth $43.1 Million
Following her father’s footsteps, the founder of Premium Properties and Octodec Investments, Sharon Wapnick has managed to accumulate immense wealth. She’s the largest shareholder in the two companies that her father founded and TWB Attorneys’ partner as well. The South African Millionaire has numerous investments in real estate.
8. Bridget Radebe, Net Worth $100 Million
Bridget Radebe founded the company Mmakau Mining which has been very successful with its operations that include coal, chrome, gold, uranium and platinum. Her husband, Jeff Radebe, is the Justice Minister in South Africa. She started as a mine worker.
7. Irene Charnley, Net Worth $150 Million
This South African woman has worked for numerous companies as an Executive Director including MTN and FirstRand Bank. She played a vital role in MTN’s success and expansion in the African region. She is currently the CEO of Smile Telcoms, Mauritius.
6. Wendy Ackerman, Net Worth $190.2 Million
Wendy Ackerman is a director at Pick N Pay, which is one of the largest grocery chain stores in Africa. The South African company has other outlets in Australia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Zambia. The Ackerman Family is quite powerful in South Africa.
5. Wendy Appelbaum, Net Worth $259.3 Million
After the death of her billionaire father, Wendy Appelbaum inherited a fortune by becoming a director at Liberty Investors. She was able to increase her net worth by selling her shares and then diversifying investments. One of her investments is the renowned South African wine brand DeMorgenzon.
4. Ngina Kenyatta, Net Worth $500 Million
Jommo Kenyatta’s family is among the richest in Africa. Ngina Kenyatta has managed to safeguard and multiply her late husband’s investments. The Kenyatta Empire includes: Real estate, hospitality, education, manufacturing, farming and banking. She also holds majority shares in several companies like Commercial Bank of Africa, Heritage and Brookside Dairies.
3. Hajia Bola Shagaya, Net Worth $600 Million
This Nigerian businesswoman has diversified her investments across industries like real estate, banking, photography, communications and the oil sector. Her portfolio consists of several other countries apart from her birth place. She’s very powerful and has close ties with Nigeria’s political figures and military.
2. Folorunso Alakija, Net Worth $600 Million
Folorunso owns FAMFA Oil Company located in Nigeria. She is also a fashion designer and her company, Supreme Stitches, which was launched in 1985, made her a fashion icon in Nigeria. She studied in the UK. In the late 70s, she became a secretary of the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria.
1. Isabel Dos Santos, Net Worth $1 Billion
This remarkable Angolan woman has invested heavily in diamonds and oil. She is actually president Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter and is among the directors of a number of high profile companies. Her investments are diversified and spread-out in Portugal and Angola. The source of her immense wealth is still unclear. She made history by becoming the first woman billionaire in Africa.