Nigerian Oil Tycoon Is World’s Richest Black Woman

Businesswoman Folorunsho Alakija has surpassed Oprah as the highest Black female earner.

Posted: 12/04/2012 01:25 PM EST
Folorunsho Alakija

Thought Oprah was the richest Black woman? Think again.

A new report says Nigerian oil tycoon and fashion designer Folorunsho Alakija takes the top spot, with an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion. African financial magazine Ventures Africa ran the numbers and put Alakija $500 million richer than the American media mogul, who Forbes estimated is worth $2.7 billion.

Alakija is the founder and owner of Nigerian oil company Famfa Oil. The company pumps out nearly 200,000 barrels of oil per day through its partnership with an offshore oil field.  

After analyzing Alakija’s business holdings, Douglas Imaralu, online editor of Ventures Africa said, “At this point, we have no doubt that she is indeed, richer than Oprah.”

Ventures Africa’s report contradicts Alakija’s Forbes listing in Africa’s 40 Richest that estimated her net worth to be $600 million.

Alakija started her career working as a secretary at the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria. She then traveled to England to study fashion design. On her return to Nigeria, she founded Supreme Stitches, which produced clothing for upscale clientele. Then, in 1993, without any prior experience in the oil business, she was awarded an oil prospecting license, allowing her company to explore for oil in one of Nigeria's most prolific oil blocks.

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(Photo: Courtesy of The African Globe)

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