3. Folorunsho Alakija
Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Rank In Nigeria: #3
Rank in Africa: #12 (#13 in 2013)
Folorunsho is the only woman on the list and the second richest woman in Africa.
Folorunsho Alakija’s winding path to becoming the second richest woman in Africa began in London, where she pursued secretarial studies and fashion design as a young woman. (She and her sister were reportedly the only two of her father’s 52 children sent abroad to study).
After returning to Nigeria to work as an executive secretary for several corporations, including the former First National Bank of Chicago, she founded her own tailoring company, Supreme Stitches.
With clients such as former first lady Maryam Babandiga, her company quickly rose to prominence among Nigeria’s high society.
Her closeness with Babandiga proved even more valuable when the Ministry of Energy approved her oil prospecting license in 1993, granting her a lucrative block in Nigeria’s coastal waters. Famfa Oil, which she controls, now holds a 60% stake in the oil field. It pumps about 200,000 barrels a day.
Alakija continues to work toward a better future for Nigeria. In 2008, she founded The Rose of Sharon Foundation, which works to help widows and orphans.
In July 2014, she pledged to donate $4.5 million to the Victims Support Fund, an initiative spearheaded by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, aimed at providing relief for those who have been adversely affected by insurgency in Nigeria over the last few years.
Alakija apparently owns several luxury apartments in the U.K. and has a private plane.