Leila Benjelloun received the honor for her commitment to education, the environment, and culture.
Rabat – Leila Benjelloun and Noureddine Bensouda received the Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit, during a ceremony yesterday in Rabat.
The French Ambassador to Morocco, Helene Le Gal, decorated the recipients.
Le Gal presented the distinction to Leila Benjelloun, president of the BMCE Bank Foundation, for her local and international commitment to education, the environment, and culture.
“Thanks to your fierce desire to see the most vulnerable gain access to education, 29,000 students, in 20 years, have been educated in the Medersat network,” the ambassador said, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Benjelloun is a Moroccan physician and businesswoman and the wife of Othman Benjelloun, CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa.
She is president of the Alaouite Organization for the Protection of the Blind and the Moroccan Red Cross and vice president of the Association of Medical Doctors in Morocco.
Benjelloun is also president of the Benjelloun-Mezian Foundation dedicated to the restoration of ancient monuments.
As president of the BMCE Bank Foundation, Benjelloun has worked to promote education in disadvantaged areas, with a particular focus on improving literacy in women and girls.
While presenting the honor to Noureddine Bensouda, the General Treasurer of Morocco, Le Gal praised his major reforms in the treasury, including “modern structures necessary for anchoring the performance budget approach.”
Napoleon Bonaparte established the Legion of Honor in 1802 as the highest French order of merit for both military and civil achievements.
Membership in the Legion of Honor is technically restricted to French nationals; however, foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds may receive the honor.
In 2017, Bahija Simou, director of the Royal Archives, received the French Legion of Honor. Simou has a distinguished career in the field of university research and the promotion of cultural and scientific projects.