The Philanthropic Heart of Isabel dos Santos

While headlines and articles about Isabel dos Santos are abuzz in regards to her wealth and business ventures, her level of benevolence demands our attention. The daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel dos Santos is an advocate for quality education which she believes is key to the development and growth of Africa as well as other emerging nations.

In 2018, the Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development invited Isabel dos Santos to be a keynote speaker at their annual conference which took place on April 13, 2018. There she made good use of the forum by discussing several initiatives with a focus on the education of young girls. The education and empowerment of girls is notably important to Isabel because she’s witnessed the opposition that women face in a male dominated business world. Although Isabel had access to a full education, she knows this was a rarity that requires recognition and change.

Dos Santos has passion for female empowerment, evident in the time she invests with young girls and the compelling words of wisdom she shares. Whether in a small room with a few people or on a stage in front of thousands, Isabel dos Santos firmly conveys a message of hope for their future in terms of education and subsequent business opportunities. Also rooted in her message is the importance of technology and its place in their everyday lives.

Isabel dos Santos holds a degree in Engineering Science and Management which has been a historically male dominated field and she is deeply concerned about the ramifications of this history. In her home country of Angola, only 7% of women in higher education are pursuing a degree in engineering or related STEM fields. Even in the US, the number of women employed in engineering is approximately 14% despite the vast opportunities America has over other countries (Alivenewspaper).

Her pursuit for furthering the education of girls and women is continually fueled by the prejudices that she still endures to this day. In addition to usually being the only woman in business settings, she’s usually also the only Black person which comes with its own set of prejudices. Despite the challenges, Isabel dos Santos remains a major proponent for businesswomen and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

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