The list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region for the year 2022 is finally known. Of the 19 nationalities revealed, Morocco has 4 representatives.
In the Forbes list of “50 most powerful entrepreneurs in MENA”, Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch, Nezha Hayat and Rita Maria Zniber are the four Moroccans who marked the last year as important, according to the American magazine . These women entrepreneurs have also led their companies to important milestones in recent years.
Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, a born leader
Counted among the most influential Moroccan women of the 21ᵉ century, Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, it is a professional career full of challenges. In the 1990s, he joined the family business, the Holmarcom group, after three years at SMDC. He is also the Vice-President and General Manager of Mineral Waters of Oulmes, Moroccan water brands, with a distribution capacity of 800 million bottles supplying 90,000 points of sale. Ms. Chaqroun was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as a member of the Global Alliance of Investors for Sustainable Development, and he sits on several national and international boards, including Al Akhawayn University, the Suez group and the Renault-Nissan group.
Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch, the champion of the luxury industry
Developing in the luxury industry, Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch founded the AKSAL Group in 1994. Today, the company has more than 1,000 employees and is the sole franchise of 45 leading brands in Morocco, including Emporio Armani , Fendi, Gucci, Oysho, Ralph Lauren, Zara, Banana Republic, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, and Gap. In 2007, it launched the Morocco Mall, which opened in 2011. The mall covers 10 hectares with 70,000 square meters of retail space. In 2011, Akhannouch also created the AKSAL Training Academy for retail trades and the AKSAL Social Initiative to support social, cultural, educational and health projects.
Nezha Hayatthe boss woman in the capital market of Morocco
The President and CEO of Morocco’s Capital Market Authority, Nezha Hayat has been the head of the institution since 2016. In this capacity, he is responsible for the country’s non-banking capital markets, such as the stock exchange and brokerage companies. The Casablanca Stock Exchange has a market capitalization of over $74.2 billion as of January 2022. As an advocate for women’s rights, she is one of the founding members and president of the Club of Women Business Administrators in Morocco (CFA Maroc) , a non-profit organization that works to promote the participation of women on the boards of public and private companies. Ms. Hayat is also the Chair of the Africa/Middle East Regional Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.
Rita Maria Zniber, a philanthropist at the helm
Chairman and CEO of Diana Holding since 2014, Rita Maria Zniber manages more than 7,500 people. The Moroccan food and beverage company has businesses in agriculture, olive growing, poultry farming, trading and distribution. At the end of 2021, Diana Holding and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University signed a strategic partnership to strengthen research, development and innovation in agriculture. Ms. Zniber is also the founding president of the non-profit public utility association, the Rita Zniber Foundation, dedicated to abandoned children.