Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria
|Residence||Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria|
|Net worth||US$2.1 billion (2015)|
|Title||Group Managing Director|
|Spouse(s)||Modupe Alakija (m. 1976)|
The richest self-made woman in Africa and one of just two female billionaires on the continent. Folorunsho Alakija’s first company was an upscale fashion label that catered to Nigeria’s elite, including the wife of the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida. This connection paid off: the president later gave Alakija’s company a prospecting license for one of the most lucrative oil fields in Nigeria. The drop in oil prices has dented the fortune of Alakija, one of just two women billionaires in Africa. The 62-year-old started her career as a secretary at the erstwhile Merchant Bank of Nigeria, but moved to England in the early 1980s to study fashion design. She then returned to her native country and set up a high-end label called Supreme Stitches.
Although she amassed some wealth from the label, a significant proportion of Alakija’s fortune comes from an oil-exploration license granted to her company Famfa Ltd. in 1993. The 617,000-acre oil block would go on to become the highly lucrative OML 127, in which Alakija’s family retains a 60% stake.
According to Ventures Africa, her assets include a real estate portfolio worth over $100 million and a $46 million private jet.