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Africa Sees Its First Woman Billionaire

Isabel dos Santos is daughter of Angolan president
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2013 3:00 AM CST
Africa Sees Its First Woman Billionaire
A frame grab from YouTube video of Isabel dos Santos.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Africa's got its first female billionaire. Thanks to her shares in Portuguese and Angolan companies, Isabel dos Santos, 40, is now worth more than $1 billion, Forbes reports. The daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the 33-year president of Angola, she opened her first business, an Angola restaurant, at age 24. Now she holds stakes in Portuguese TV and banking as well as Angola's banking and telecom industries.

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Angola has benefited from reportedly surging oil revenues, and its ruling family is well-connected among business leaders. But "the source of funds and corporate governance (is) very murky," says an expert. "The central problem in Angola is the complete lack of transparency. We can’t trace the provenance of these funds." A rep for Santos questions that assessment, saying her investments adhere to European transparency standards. (Read more Africa stories.)

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