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Six Moroccans on Forbes Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women list

Source : | 20 September 2015 |  Society | 2044 views

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Rabat – Forbes Middle East selected six Moroccans in its latest ranking of the most powerful women in the Arab World.

On Wednesday, Forbes Middle East unveiled its 2015 annual ranking of the Arab World’s Most Powerful Women during an exclusive gala dinner and awards ceremony in Dubai.

Only 7 women from North Africa were featured on the prestigious list; six women from Morocco and one Tunisian.

The first Moroccan woman on the list is Rita Maria Zniber, the head of Diana Holding since April 2014, who was ranked 30th. Diana Holding, founded by Rita’s, husband Brahim Zniber, was the first winemaker in the kingdom, and was ranked the seventh most important group in Morocco. It achieves a turnover of 3 billion dirhams and generates over 6,500 direct jobs.

Under the leadership of Rita Maria Zniber, Diana Holdings purchased 13.14 percent of French spirits group Belvédère, becoming the majority shareholder. Zniber plans to make Diana Holding a global player in the production of wines and spirits.

Zniber is followed by Laila Mamou, Chairperson of the Management Board of Wafasalaf, who landed at 42nd on the list. Mamou has led Wafasalaf to become a leading consumer credit company.

Salwa Akhannouch, head of Akwa Group, a distributor of petroleum products,  is the third Moroccan on this list. She ranked 46th. Salwa Akhannouch is a prominent Moroccan businesswoman who heads the franchise group Aksal, founded in 2004.

Her ambitious project, Morocco Mall, is the largest shopping center in Africa and the Middle East and among top five in the world. Her father, the famous Berber businessman Ahmed Haj Belfiqih, made his fortune in the tea trade. She is married to Aziz Akhannouch, the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture.

Hynd Bouhia, the CEO of Global Nexus, was also featured in the list, and came in 61st. Prior her current position, Dr. Bouhia was the Head of Investment Strategy of Morocco’s Public Pension Fund, and a Director General of the Casablanca Stock Exchange.

She returned to Morocco in 2004 after eight years at the World Bank in Washington, where she worked on lending projects and managed World Bank issuances in emerging market currencies. She became the Economic Advisor of Morocco’s Prime Minister.

Meriem Bensalah, one of the most powerful businesswomen in the country, is the fifth Moroccan woman on Forbes’ list, ranking at 63rd. An MBA graduate in International Management and Finance from University of Dallas, Texas, Meriem Bensalah directed the mineral water companies Sidi Ali, Oulmes, and Bahia for 23 years. She is the daughter of Abdelkader Bensalah, founder of the conglomerate Holmarcom.

Saida Karim Lamrani is the last Moroccan woman featured on the list, and landed in 89th. Currently the Associate Vice President of Holdings Group Safari-Sofipar Cofimar, Saida Karim Lamrani is managing and expanding the empire built by her father, Mohammed Karim Lamrani, who was the Prime Minister of the sixth government of Morocco, under the reign of Hassan II.

The Middle East’s leading magazine ranked Arab women according to the influential roles they play in their societies and the impact they have in their fields of work.

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