Isabel dos Santos: president’s daughter who became Africa’s richest woman

From her first investment in a beach bar, Dos Santos has built a $2bn empire. But her wealth is the subject of mounting scrutiny

From the terrace of the Miami Beach club, the sand stretches down to the Atlantic ocean. Waves lap the long shoreline of the Ilha de Luanda. On weekends, the bar-restaurant is full of wealthy drinkers and dancers who have driven over from Luanda, the Angolan capital, a few kilometres away.

The Miami Beach club has been a fixture on the Luanda party scene for 20 years. Over that time the civil war that devastated Angola ended, an oil boom that generated billions ended in bust, and one of the longest-ruling leaders in Africa, José Eduardo dos Santos, was forced to step down as president. It was a period when a lucky elite of Angolans made very large fortunes – but none seems to have made more than the former president’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos, whom Forbes says is worth $2.2bn (£1.7bn).

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