Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angolan ex President and Africa’s richest woman on Thursday announced her intention to run for the presidency despite her accusations of diverting more than a billion dollars of state money and a freeze of her assets.
In an interview with Portuguese TV channel RTP, the ex-first daughter of the oil-rich nation said she would be interested in the role of president, which is next up in 2022.
The 46-year-old businesswoman nicknamed “The Princess” at home is estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth more than $2 billion, while two thirds of her compatriots live on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.
The billionaire businesswoman is now fighting a decision by the Angolan court to have her assets seized in a bid to recover debts she reportedly owes the government.
She denies the allegations as a “witch hunt” aimed at weakening her father José Eduardo’s influence and distracting public opinion from failures under new President Joao Lourenco.
Dos Santos holds significant stakes in several important Portuguese firms, including in Eurobic bank, telecoms company NOS, engineering company Efacec, and oil and gas company Galp Energia.
When Lourenco succeeded Eduardo in 2017, he started cracking down on his predecessor’s children in state enterprises.
José Eduardo had ruled the country for nearly four decades.