Isabel dos Santos on Africa’s Digital Future

Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos has the distinction of being Africa’s first female billionaire. Over the last twenty years, dos Santos, the daughter of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has built up an impressive portfolio across a number of industries. After studying engineering at prestigious King’s College London, dos Santos returned to her native country to begin her career as a project manager. She has a keen interest in urban development, which she sees as key to sustainable growth in Africa. Although she has made forays into industries as diverse as entertainment and logistics, she is well known for her telecommunication ventures in Portugal, Angola, and other Portuguese speaking nations in Africa.

Isabel dos Santos formed Unitel as a joint venture with Portugal Telecom. In addition, the telecom mogul owns Cape Verde provider T+ and formed a new mobile company operating in Sao Tome and Principe. Dos Santos also has an interest in television provider ZAP, which broadcasts content from Forbes in Portuguese-speaking Africa. She hopes that her ventures will help create jobs beyond Angola in other African nations.

Isabel dos Santos is optimistic about the future of Africa’s media companies, and sees digital content as a job creator for Africa. At a summit held at the European Parliament in Brussels, the entrepreneur argued that learning how to harness the power of digital media is one of major challenges facing the continent. She added that in order for Africa to grow in this area, it needs to answer tough questions about job growth, foreign and domestic investment, and legal infrastructure. Dos Santos also sees great potential when it comes to agricultural technology and banking. Isabel dos Santos believes there is a revolution around the corner in how Africans pay for their goods along the lines of how new digital payment technology has taken off in Asia.

Learn more about Isabel dos Santos at http://chronicleweek.com/2018/12/isabel-dos-santos-economic-empowerment/