Of the 2,043 people who made it to the 2018 FORBES list of the World’s Billionaires, 11 of them are black. Three of them are black women. Only one of them is a self-made billionaire.
1) Isabel Dos Santos, $2.6 billion
Africa’s richest woman has had better days: Her father was President and she was Chairperson of Sonangol, the state-owned oil company. In November last year, Angola’s new President João Lourenço removed her from the role. Angolan authorities are now probing her tenure as chief of the oil giant and alleging financial impropriety. She denies the allegations. Isabel dos Santos owns a lucrative stake in Unitel, the country’s largest mobile phone network, and a stake in Banco BIC. Outside Angola, she owns nearly 6% of oil and gas firm Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim), and nearly 19% of Banco BPI, the country’s fourth-largest bank. She is also a controlling shareholder of Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS (formerly called Zon).
2) Folorunsho Alakija, $1.7 billion
Nigeria’s richest woman is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company than owns a stake in Agbami oil field, a prolific offshore asset. Alakija started off as a secretary in a Nigerian merchant bank in the 1970s, then quit her job to study fashion design in England. Upon her return, she founded a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele, including Maryam Babangida, wife to Nigeria’s former military president Ibrahim Babangida.
3) Oprah Winfrey, $2.7 billion
Oprah is no longer the richest African American. The former queen of daytime TV will begin work as a special contributor on 60 Minutes in the fall of 2017. Her once struggling cable channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) is now cash flow positive and is enjoying soaring ratings on the back of a series of successful sitcom and drama collaborations. She owns a 10% stake in Weight Watchers and acts as a brand ambassador. @businessinfluencermj