Alj will replace Salaheddine Mezouar, who resigned in October 2019 after making controversial statements about Algeria’s protest movement.
Rabat – The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) elected Chakib Alj as its president during an elective general assembly on Wednesday.
Alj received 4,122 votes, or 96.18%, to beat his only rival Mehdi Tazi.
Tazi became vice president of the CGEM.
The new president will run the CGEM for three years. Alj has a chance to have his term doubled as the organization’s regulations allow for one renewal.
Commenting on his win, the newly-elected president said on Twitter, “ a big thank you to the companies, federations, and regions who have shown their confidence in us with their votes. There are many challenges and we are ready to meet them together.”
Who is CGEM new chairman
Alj, who has been a member of the CGEM for 6 years, is an entrepreneur and a businessman. He also serves as the president of the Federation of milling for seven years, president of the inter-professional federation of cereal activities, and president of the Federation of Professions in the Distribution of Mass Consumption Products.
The CGEM president is active in several domains and agro-industries, including animal feed.
The businessman is also knowledgeable of plastic industry, hotels, and real estate.
A father to four children, The 54-year old entrepreneur was born in Casablanca and started his career in 1987, managing the Societe Nouvelle des Moulins du Maghreb.
Crisis before election
The election session also served as a meeting to update the CGEM’s members on the contributions and finances of the employer’s confederation.
Amina Figuigui, deputy financial treasurer of the CGEM said that the number of CGEM members stood at 5268 at the end of 2019.
However, only 2569 of the members made regular contributions against 3218 in 2018.
About 32% of the contributors are based in Casablanca.
In 2019, 502 new members joined the CGEM. Approximately 60% of them are based in Casablanca, Tangier, and Rabat.
The volume of contributions totaled MAD 41 million in 2019, representing an increase of 1.63%.
Sponsorship expenses, however, reached MAD 1.98 million with grants amounting to MAD 1.89.
CGEM faced a wage bill of MAD 34 million last year, an increase of 10% year-on-year.
Cost for seminars, including 2nd CGEM Summer University, Morocco-Spain Forum, increased to MAD 5.8 million dirhams (second edition of the CGEM Summer University, the Morocco-Spain Forum, etc.).
Ahead of his election, the CGEM was run by an acting president pending the appointment of a chairman.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Salaheddine Mezouar was running CGEM before he announced his resignation in October 2019.
Mezouar’s resignation came after his statements about Algeria and its popular hirak (protest movement) drew criticism during the 12th annual World Policy Conference (WCP) held in Marrakech.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Mezouar’s statement as “irresponsible”, emphasizing Morocco’s principle of non-interference.
Mezouar immediately withdrew from the organization following the condemnatory statement from the ministry.