Africa's richest woman, Angolan billionaire Isabel Dos Santos: kleptocratic royalty

Forbes has a profile of Isabel Dos Santos, Africa’s only female billionaire, also the continent’s youngest at 40 years old.

"She has quickly and systematically garnered significant stakes in Angola’s strategic industries–banking, cement, diamonds and telecom–making her the most influential businessperson in her homeland," writes Kerry A. Dolan.

"When FORBES outed her as a billionaire in January the government disseminated the news as a matter of national pride, living proof that this country of 19 million has arrived. The real story, however, is how Dos Santos–the oldest daughter of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos–acquired her wealth."

In a word: kleptocracy.

Notable Replies

  1. It's not fair to single her out as a kleptocrat. All extreme wealth is only possible through theft of some sort or another. Her crime is perhaps more visible or more directly contravenes convention, but every single person on the Forbes billionaires list is a thief responsible for death and misery the world over.

  2. daneel says:

    Handbag shops in Zurich are being made aware of who she is right now.

  3. The "clean" billionaires, the Eric Schmidts and the Warren Buffets of the world, are removed from the death and misery they cause by many more degrees than Dos Santos, but that does not diminish the death and suffering required for their wealth to exist. In a way, she is more commendable for her relationship with reality than the comfortable park avenue hypocrites.

    A fashion mogul is one of the easiest examples of accepted rapaciousness in our culture. The are 1129 dead Bangladeshis are only the most recent most visible example. Nearly every worker at every level but the top of the fashion enterprise is underpaid so that the ownership and investors can reap their profits.

    There is nothing that a single person can do - NOTHING - that is worth more than a few million dollars per year. People manage to make more than that by cheating the people who help them accomplish the project out of their fair share of the proceeds. All billionaires are thieves, and today they are thieves at such a magnitude that it literally depresses the economies of entire countries.

  4. aikimo says:

    Why "a few million dollars per year?" What metric are you using? What do you tell a person who says, "There is nothing that a single person can do - NOTHING - that is worth more than a few hundred thousand dollars per year."

    What, precisely, is the top amount of money a person can earn per year before they automatically deserve to be condemned, no matter who they are or what they do?

  5. xeni says:

    We have billionaire concern trolls? Neat.

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