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Angola Made Her Africa’s Richest Woman, But the Tide Has Turned

  • Isabel dos Santos says her local businesses are facing ruin
  • Daughter of ex-Angolan leader plans to keep Portuguese stakes
Isabel dos Santos in Dubai, U.A.E.
Isabel dos Santos in Dubai, U.A.E.Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg

A year after Angolan authorities cracked down on her multibillion-dollar business empire, Africa’s once-richest woman is watching it crumble.

From self-imposed exile in Dubai, Isabel dos Santos has been fighting a legal battle against Angola’s government as court orders roil her companies. In Luanda, shelves at the Candando supermarket stores are more than half-empty. A beer factory south of the capital is running at 30% of its production capacity. Operations at the country’s biggest cement maker have also slowed.