Rabat – Moroccan businesswomen dominate Francophone Africa, according to a ranking made by the weekly Jeune Afrique.
In their ranking of the 50 most influential businesswomen in the region, Moroccan company executives occupy the top of the pavement, headed by Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun, president of the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco (CGEM).
1. Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun
CEO of Les Eaux Minérales d’Oulmès S.A., a leading company listed on the Stock Exchange of Casablanca, specialised in water and bottling, Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun holds an MBA in International and Finance Graduate of the University of Dallas and is an alumna of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris and University Paris IX – Dauphine, France.
She is also the CEO of the Holmarcom Group, owned by her family and one of the five largest industrial, commercial and financial groups of Morocco, a board member of Bank Al Maghrib, the National Central and Reserve Bank of Morocco, and Chairperson of the Euro-Mediterranean Center of Mediation and Arbitration.
According to the Jeune Afrique, Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun was destined to become the first president of the CGEM, because “the business world has long recognized her leadership qualities.”
“She is a member of the boards of many prestigious companies such as Eutelsat, Suez and the central bank of Morocco, to name a few. In April, she will also be added to those of Renault-Nissan,” notes the publication, stating that many leaders who meet her praise her talents as a negotiator.
2. Mama Tajmouati
Mama Tajmouati is Chairwoman & Chief Executive Officer at Société Nationale d’Electrolyse & de Pétrochimie (SNEP). She has been a member of Ynna Holding’s board of directors since its inception and has also been the wife of the late Hajj Miloud Chaabi and his adviser since the founding of the group.
Mama Tajmouati is now in charge of the family group. In April 2016 she was unanimously appointed the group’s Chief Executive Officer by the group’s directors after a general meeting.
3. Rita Zniber
Zniber came third in Jeune Afrique’s ranking as the CEO of Diana Holding, a $3 billion (annual sales) agro-industrial conglomerate. Founded in 1956, the group has diversified businesses working in agriculture, wine-making, bottling of water and soft drinks, trading and distribution.
She also established in 1992 the Rita Zniber Foundation, a non-profit organization in Morocco helping orphans find a home. She began in 1982 by helping children abandoned at birth in maternity hospitals. Today, the foundation has two centers that provide a home to 350 children until their adoption.
4. Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch
One of Morocco’s most powerful businesswomen and one of North Africa’s wealthiest female entrepreneurs, Salwa Idriss Akhannouch is the founder and chief executive officer of the Aksal Group, a Moroccan leader in luxury goods, department stores and shopping malls.
The Aksal Group, which attracts 15 million visitors every year and generates an estimated turnover of 5 billion Moroccan dirhams ($514 million), owns a 50 percent stake in the Morocco Mall, one of Africa’s largest shopping centres, built at a cost of over $240 million in 2007.
5. Nadia Fettah
After graduating from the Parisian business school, HEC, Nadia Fettah made her debut at the consulting firm Arthur Andersen. She founded Maroc Invest in 2000, before joining CNIA in 2005. Since then, she has become CEO of Saham Assurances.
Ghislane Guedira, Executive Director of Finance and Management Control at the OCP; Ghita Lahlou COB of Saham Santé and Phone group; Ghita Lahlou Executive Director of the Moroccan Equipment, Supply & Import company; Nadia Fassi-Fehri CEO of Inwi; Sarah Kerroumi Ynna Holding’s General Secretary; Lamia Tazi CEO of Sothema; Laila Mamou Wafa Salaf’s Executive Director; and Intelcia’s Deputy Director-General Najat El Jebari occupy the 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 28th and 29th places of this ranking.
This ranking was based on a pre-selection of more than 100 leaders from the largest companies in Francophone Africa, prepared by the editorial staff of Jeune Afrique on the basis of three criteria: the company’s workforce, highlighting its social status, its turnover, highlighting its economic strength; and the supposed influence of the company executive, which reflects both the position it occupies within the organization and its ability to influence economic and political decisions at the national and international levels.