Rabat- Six Moroccans feature on Jeune Afrique’s list of the fifty most influential businessmen, politicians, and senior civil servants who made a mark on the African continent in 2018.
1- Mostafa Terrab (3rd)
Clinching the third position, Mostafa Terrab is the CEO of the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) and a PhD holder from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Under his leadership, OCP underwent a holistic transformation, coming into international standards that translated into higher revenues for the company and new programs to create jobs for the most underprivileged people in Morocco. These programs target unemployed graduates, particularly those from cities such as Khouribga, Youssoufia, and Benguerir, which collectively hold nearly 98 percent of the country’s phosphates.
2- Moulay Hafid Elalamy (13th)
As the the Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment, and the Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elalamy launched the ambitious industrial acceleration plan in Morocco. Elalamy is also the founder and owner of the Saham Group, whose subsidiary, CNIA Saada, is the largest insurance company in Morocco. Other subsidiaries of the group include call centers, and clinics. As part of the preparation for Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, King Mohammed VI has appointed Moulay Hafid Elalamy head of Morocco’s Bid Committee, last January. Elalamy holds a degree in information systems from the University of Sherbrooke. He began his professional career in Canada as a senior advisor to the Ministry of Finance of Quebec, before holding the position of director of information systems within a Canadian insurance company. Upon his return to Morocco, Moulay Hafid Elalamy joined the ONA Group, where he served as general secretary, as well as the director general of its insurance subsidiary. A reputable figure in the social and economic spheres in the country, Elalamy served as president of Morocco’s General Confederation of Enterprises of from 2006 to 2009.
3- Hicham Naciri (17th)
Hicham Naciri is the personal lawyer of King Mohammed VI and the managing partner of Allen & Overy in Casablanca. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, real estate, structured finance, project finance and, more generally, foreign investment. He has been involved in most of the large-scale, high profile transactions undertaken in Morocco over the past several years and regularly advises clients on acquisitions in Africa. He is top ranked as a leading individual in Chambers Global 2018, the Legal 500 of EMEA 2018 and Project Finance Review. In September 2013, Jeune Afrique nominated him one of the 25 “Leaders of Tomorrow” on the African continent and top-ranked business lawyer in Francophone Africa in February 2018. He has been a member of the French-American Bar Association since 2012.
4- Abdellatif Hammouchi (21st)
Abdellatif Hammouchi, is the head of the Moroccan Internal Intelligence apparatus (DGST), as well as the Director of the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN). He also serves as King Mohammed VI’s adviser on terrorism-related affairs. According to the weekly, Hammouchi is hailed by his European and American colleagues for his professionalism. In 2011, Hammouchi received an Alaouite Wissam decoration from Mohammed VI in recognition of his efforts maintaining security and fighting against terrorism.
5- Othman Benjelloun (22nd)
The Moroccan billionaire Othman Benjelloun owns the Paris-based holding company FinanceCom, which invests in different African countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. Benjelloun is also the owner of BMCE Bank, one of the largest banks in Morocco and Africa, as well as the insurance company RMA Watania. He was ranked first in Morocco in Forbes’s 2016 list of the richest people in the Arab world. With a fortune estimated at more than USD 1.9 billion, the Moroccan businessman and investor was ranked as the 19th richest person in the Arab world and the 15th richest in Africa.
6- Aziz Akhanouch (32)
Aziz Akhanouch is the Secretary-General of the National Rally of Independence Party and the Minister of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries. He occupies the 32nd most-influentialranking, due to his strategic vision of agriculture in Morocco, which is supported by the department he has been heading for the past 10 years. His Green Morocco plan is a “model of agricultural development throughout the continent and its Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) initiative was approved by the COP 22,” Jeune Afrique explains.
Akhannouch operates in different vital sectors such as oil, gas, and chemical products manufacturing. His extensive studies, across several fields such as management, administration, and leadership, have paved the way for his appointment to many high-profile positions, such as the presidency of the Afriquia Gaz and Tissir Gaz companies. Outside of his private companies, Akhanouch has also launched several agricultural projects in many parts of Morocco, including his hometown, Tafraout.