Africa’s leading women entrepreneurs from across the diverse land have turned their resources into massive empires.
Most of the top 10 richest women in Africa 2020 are successful businesswomen with South Africa and Nigeria leading the list.
10. Tiwa Savage
Networth $5 million
Tiwatope Savage a Nigerian singer, song writer and actress was born in Esale Eko on the 5th of February 1980. She relocated to London at the age of 11 to pursue her secondary education. She started her music career doing backup vocals for artists like George Michael and Mary J Blige.
After participating in the UK edition of theX factor and graduating from Barklee college of Music Tiwa signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music publishing in 2009.
Inspired by the growth of the Nigerian music industry, Savage moved back to Lagos and signed with Mavin Records in 2012. She made an appearance on the label’s compilation album Solar Plexus, released that same year
Company: Octodec Investments
Net Worth: $43.1 million
Sharon Wapnick’s father Alec Wapnick, founded Octodec Investments and Premium Properties, two property loan stock companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
Wapnick is one of the top 5 shareholders in each company, and her shares are estimated to be worth R544 million, according to Forbes.
Company: Mmakau Mining
Net Worth: $100 million
Bridgette Motsepe Radebe is a South African businesswoman of Tswana descent and the sister of South African businessman Patrice Motsepe and First Lady of South Africa Tshepo Motsepe.
She was born on 26 February 1960. Radebe started out as a common miner in the 1980s; managing individual shaft mining operations and producing materials for the larger mine operations in South Africa while working under a contract. She started Mmakau Mining; a mining firm that initiates explorations and helps to produce platinum, gold, and chrome.
Company: Smile Telecoms
Net Worth: $150 million
Irene Charnley (born 6 May 1960) is a former trade unionist and businesswoman from South Africa.
Charnley first made her mark on the African business community as a negotiator for South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers where she spent 13 years co-ordinating various divisions of union operations.
She went on to become an executive director for the MTN Group, which is Africa’s largest telecommunications company.
Under her leadership several African and Middle Eastern countries (including Nigeria and Iran) were connected into the MTN network.
Charnley was the behind the founding of the National Empowerment Consortium made up of 50% black business owners and 50% black African laborers. They eventually owned 35% of Johnnic Holdings (now called Johnnic Communications).
Company: Pick N Pay Holdings Ltd.
Net Worth: $190.2 million
Wendy Ackerman is one of the founders and an Executive Director of Pick n Pay Stores.
Together with husband Raymond Ackerman she helped build up one of South Africa’s pre-eminent FMCG retailers, consisting of over 450 stores including 121 supermarkets and 14 hypermarkets.
Operations are in food, clothing, and general merchandise sectors as well as financial services. The company operates throughout South Africa, southern Africa and Australia and employs around 49,000 people.
Today, much of Wendy’s boundless energy is devoted to her family’s philanthropic endeavours and her personal work for the underprivileged.
Company: Liberty Investors
Net Worth: $259.3 million
Wendy Appelbaum is the Owner and Chair of De Morgenzon Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
Wendy Appelbaum, daughter of Liberty Group founder Donald Gordon, is the Owner and Chair of De Morgenzon Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
Appelbaum admittedly did have an advantage in being the daughter of Donald Gordon.
Having such a powerful, influential father was “almost like growing up in a business school”. She inherited his flair and mind for business.
However, her father is not responsible for her successes. She grew up wanting to challenge expectations, and that she did. Today, she is arguable the richest woman in South Africa.
4.Haija Bola Shagaya
Company: Bolmus Group International
Net Worth: $630 million
Hajia Bola Shagaya (born October 10, 1959) is a Nigerian businesswoman and fashion enthusiast. She is one of the richest women in Africa 2020 .
She is currently married to Alhaji Shagaya, a Kwara State-based transport mogul, and has six children.
She started her career with the audit department of the Central Bank of Nigeria before venturing into commercial activities in 1983.
Her business experience started with the importation and distribution of photographic materials and she introduced the Konica brand of photographic materials into the Nigerian market and West Africa.
Hajia Bola Shagaya is also the managing director of Practoil Limited, one of the largest importers and distributors of base oil in Nigeria, serving local lubricant blending plants.
Her businesses also includes huge investment in real estate, spanning across major cities in the country with over three hundred employees.
Net Worth: $1 billion
Ngina Kenyatta was born on 24th June 1933, she is popularly known as “Mama Ngina” she is the former First Lady of Kenya.
She is the widow of the country’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta (~1889–1978), and also the mother of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Company: The Rose of Sharon Group
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Folorunsho Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset.
Famfa Oil’s partners include Chevron and Petrobras. Alakija’s first company was a fashion label whose customers included the wife of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida.
The Nigerian government awarded Alakija’s company an oil prospecting license in 1993, which was later converted to an oil mining lease.
The Agbami field has been operating since 2008; Famfa Oil says it will likely operate through 2024.
1.Isabel Dos Santos
Company: Zon Multimedia
Net Worth: $2.2 billion
Isabel dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angola’s longtime former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in fall 2017.
In 2013, Forbes found that while Isabel’s father was president, she ended up with stakes in Angolan companies including banks and a telecom firm.
On January 22, 2020, Angolan authorities provisionally charged Dos Santos with embezzlement and money laundering. She denies the charges.
She owns shares of Portuguese companies, including telecom firm Nos SGPS, but in January 2020 it was said she is selling stakes in 2 other firms.
Her father made her head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, in June 2016, but Angola’s new president removed her from that role in November 2017.