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Isabel dos Santos, An Unusual Woman

Isabel dos Santos is fighting against the fact that Africa has traditionally discouraged women from higher education and her business work. She often speaks to various groups on these subjects. She also funds projects that both aid the African economy and aid the cause of African women in the business world. For instance, she recently funded a project to plant a strawberry field near an impoverished village that would gainfully employ 120 of its women. She is also looking at the tourism sector, which is growing since the growing middle class of Africa is causing more travel throughout Africa.

Santos dos says it is a pleasant surprise that most of these richer African people are opting to spend money vacationing within Africa than within other countries. These people are coming to realize that Africa is an extremely diverse place. This inter-tourism trend is a sign that Africa is picking up in multiple areas. But Isabel dos Santos says Africa should never be satisfied to remain where it advances. She encourages a constant trend of continuous self-improvement. Isabel dos Santos currently leads the Angolan telecommunications company as its chairperson.

Isabel dos Santos credits her father for raising her to be equal with men. He provided her with good higher education and encouraged her to pursue her business career. Her mother was also very encouraging for this. She never said she had to act in a certain way that was considered appropriate for African women. This was unusual because in Africa most parents raise their daughters to marry men who can support them. She hopes that all parents in Africa can soon become as openminded as her parents. As it is, most parents in Africa don’t really encourage their children of either gender to dream big because they are afraid their just setting them up for failure. Santos says that she has also been fortunate to have an open-minded husband to always encourage her in her business work and is even one of her main advisors.