Richest Woman in Africa Folorunsho Alakija

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Folorunsho Alakija

Net Worth: $7.3 billion
Industry: Oil and Gas
Country of Citizenship: Nigeria
Age: 63
Number of Jobs Created: 800

Africa’s richest woman and the world’s richest black woman has enjoyed increased recognition since Ventures Africa uncovered her wealth last year. She owns and runs Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil company that owns a 60-percent stake in OML 127, one of Nigeria’s most prolific oil blocks.

Located in Nigeria’s offshore Agbami deep water field, which is said to contain about 1 billion barrels of oil, OML 127 produces in excess of 200,000 barrels per day. It is widely believed that Alakija’s friendship with Maryam Babangida, the late wife of former Nigerian military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida, played a huge role in her relatively inexpensive acquisition of the oil block back in 1993. Famfa immediately entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Ltd (a subsidiary of Chevron and Brazil’s Petrobas), ceding a 40-percent stake to the company. Alakija survived an earlier scare over a decade ago when former Nigerian President Obasanjo forcefully acquired a 50-percent stake in her oil block and transferred ownership to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Famfa Oil battled the Nigerian government in court for 12 years, eventually winning a reinstatement of her stake in May 2013.

Alakija is also one of the biggest players in the Nigerian and European real estate markets. She purchased four apartments in One Hyde Park, known to be the single most expensive apartment building in the UK, if not the world. Alakija is very vocal about her Christian faith and prefers to focus attention on her philanthropic activities through her Rose of Sharon Foundation, which seeks to empower widows and orphans. She is also the vice chairman of Nigeria’s National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts. The council, chaired by fellow Nigerian billionaire Igho Sanomi, is charged with ensuring the preservation and promotion of Nigerian places and objects of cultural and historical significance.

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