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Ever wondered about the richest women in Africa? Well, this article will present the top 5 most affluent women on the continent.

In Africa, numerous prosperous and influential women have achieved remarkable wealth and earned recognition as some of the wealthiest individuals.

This exclusive cohort of women has climbed to the summit through diligence, commitment, and unwavering consistency. From the oil-rich landscapes of Nigeria to South Africa and beyond, these women have etched an enduring legacy, guiding industries and accumulating fortunes that extend beyond borders.

Wealthiest women in Africa list

This article will explore the accomplishments of these distinguished women who have shattered barriers in their quest for financial success in Africa.

1. Folorunso Alakija(Nigeria)- $1 billion

Born on July 15, 1951, Folorunsho Alakija is a Yoruba Nigerian businesswoman and philanthropist. She currently serves as the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group and the executive vice chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. Alakija began her banking career in 1974 at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria, later transitioning to the former First National Bank of Chicago, now part of First City Monument Bank. She held various roles, including Executive Secretary and Head of the Corporate Affairs Department at the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria.

Alakija pursued fashion design at the American College in London and the Central School of Fashion, founding the fashion label Supreme Stitches, later renamed The Rose of Sharon House of Fashion in 1996. She also played a significant role as the president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN).

In May 1993, Alakija applied for an oil prospecting license (OPL), leading to Famfa Limited obtaining a license to explore a 617,000-acre block in the Agbami Field, about 100km offshore of Nigeria. She later entered a joint venture with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, transferring a 40 per cent stake. However, when oil was discovered, the Nigerian government asserted a 40% stake, followed by an additional 10%. The government’s argument was based on the belief that if Alakija’s family retained their block, she would dispute and likely win against the claim. According to Forbes, she had a net worth of $1 billion in 2020 making her the richest woman in Africa.

2. Ngina Kenyatta(Kenya)- $1 billion

Ngina Kenyatta, also known as “Mama Ngina,” served as the former First Lady of Kenya and is the widow of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta (~1889–1978). She is the mother of the fourth president, Uhuru Kenyatta, who held office from 2013 to 2022. Mama Ngina, with a net worth of $1 billion as per Tuko, stands as the wealthiest woman in Kenya and was listed among Africa’s dollar billionaires by Ventures Financial magazine in 2013.

Ventures Financial magazine ranked her among Africa’s dollar billionaires in 2013, as reported by BBC. Mama Ngina has diversified her investments across various sectors, including real estate, banking, and hospitality. She oversees prominent Kenyan companies such as Brookside Dairy, Media Max Ltd, and Heritage Group of Hotels. Additionally, she holds interests in Timsale Holdings, Beta Health Care, and shares valued over KSh 6.6 billion at NCBA PLC.

According to a 2017 CIA report, Mama Ngina owns two tea plantations at Matu and Mangu and three sisal farms near the Tanzanian border. The report also disclosed her ownership of at least 115,000 hectares (284,000 acres), which includes a 13,000-hectare (32,000 acres) ranch in Kiambu County.

3. Hajia Bola Muinat Shagaya (Nigeria)- $969 million

Starting her career as an auditor at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bola Shagaya shifted to commercial activities in 1983, venturing into the distribution and importation of photographic materials. In this role, she introduced the Konica brand to the Nigerian market and West Africa.

Currently, Shagaya serves on the board of directors at Unity Bank, holding this position for over eight years. She is also a key figure in the newly inaugurated Neoad Business Group in Nigeria. Renowned for her passion for fashion, she holds the esteemed title of grand patron of FADAN (Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria) and is recognized as a Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), a title conferred upon her by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

As the founder and CEO of Bolmus Group International, Shagaya oversees a conglomerate with interests in real estate, oil and gas, banking, and photography. Additionally, she serves as the Managing Director of Practoil Limited, one of Nigeria’s largest importers and distributors of base oil.

Bola Shagaya’s impressive net worth is reported to be $969 million.

4. Daisy Danjuma(Nigeria)- $900 million

With an estimated net worth of $900 million, Daisy Danjuma stands out as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest women, playing a prominent role in both business and politics. Renowned for her successful ventures in the oil and gas sector, she has held influential positions in various companies and expanded her portfolio into real estate, banking, and philanthropy.

In her illustrious career, Daisy Danjuma has actively championed gender equality and empowerment. Serving as a vocal advocate for women’s rights in Nigeria, she has made substantial contributions to initiatives supporting education, healthcare, and social welfare, with a particular focus on women and children.

5. Wendy Appelbaum(South Africa)- $136 million

Wendy Appelbaum, the daughter of Liberty Group founder Donald Gordon, holds the positions of Owner and Chair at De Morgenzon Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. Acknowledging the advantage of being Donald Gordon’s daughter, she initially served as a director at Liberty Group Investors, emerging as one of the company’s major shareholders.

Having capitalized on her shares, Appelbaum and her husband ventured into the wine industry by establishing her farm. In 2012, Forbes recognized her among the Top 10 female Millionaires to watch in Africa. Appelbaum’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1994 with Wiphold, an investment company empowering women across diverse backgrounds. Co-founding the company with 10 other women, Wiphold achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first female-controlled company to list on the JSE.

A committed philanthropist, Appelbaum allocated $23 million to establish the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the Donald Gordon Medical Centre. Serving as the trustee for The Donald Gordon Foundation, one of Africa’s largest private charitable foundations, and the Wendy Appelbaum Foundation, she focuses on health, education, and women’s empowerment.

The diverse and dynamic landscape of wealth in Africa is highlighted by the achievements and contributions of its richest women. Visionaries such as Folorunsho Alakija, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, and Wendy Appelbaum have not only amassed substantial fortunes but have also made significant strides in various industries, from oil exploration to philanthropy. Their stories underscore the evolving role of women in shaping Africa’s economic and social landscape, establishing them as key players among the richest women in Africa.

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Her Forward is a US news publication founded by Michael Peres (Mikey Peres) in 2021. Our publication is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and insights on female entrepreneurs and leaders.