10 Most Powerful and Influential North African Businesswoman ; Everything You Need to Know
Women in North Africa in business world today, are making waves and breaking barriers despite the societal pressures against the feminine gender. These women are pioneers in different sectors ranging from mining to finance and agri-food.
They do not only have their footprint just in North Africa but also in the international market. They have managed to lead some of the largest companies in their region, thus creating value for the society while creating wealth for themselves and their stakeholders.
In this article, we will explain 10 of the most powerful business women from North Africa who strive to make a difference in their communities, thus inspiring other women to do more.
- Dalia El-Baz
Dalia El-Baz is an Egyptian business woman with 28 remarkable years in the banking sector.
In 2008, she joined the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) as head of the operational risk management group. She rose to the position of chief operating officer in December 2015.
In September 2017, She became the first woman to hold the position of executive deputy chairman of NBE, the largest bank in Egypt in terms of assets. Her total asset worth is estimated to be about $14.1 billion.
2. Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch
Salwa Idrissi Akhnanouch who is the wife of Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s prime minister and richest woman. She is a Moroccan business woman known for her exceptional leadership skills and business acumen.
In 2004, Salwa founded AKSAL Group, a notable retail company with more than 1,130 employees. AKSAL Group is the franchise for 5 top-tier brands including Gucci, Armani, and Fendi.
This made AKSAL one of the leading retail companies in Morocco. She is recognised internationally as one of Africa’s most successful billionaires due to her outstanding achievements.
3. Farida Guerfi
Farida Guerfi is an Algerian businesswoman who manages FAC, an Algerian-Canadian audit and consulting company and MSL Council, an Accounting and Advisory firm.
Farida has held various positions in public companies through different industries including directors in finance, auditing and accounting. However, she chose finance to pursue her entrepreneurship dream.
She is an international expert in accounting standards and holds the IAS IFRS diploma issued by the American Academy of Beirut. Farida is presently the president of SEVE, the businesswomen’s association of Algeria, and an executive member of the Algerian National Council of Statistics.
She won the AOCPA trophy in 2007, and has since held the position of deputy assistant secretary-general for her country.
4. Rita Maria Zniber
Rita Maria Zniber is a Moroccan businesswoman with more than 40 years experience in the beverage sector. She is the CEO and chairwoman of Diana Holding.
Diana Holding has a diverse business portfolio but operates in the food and beverage sector. The company’s different business activities include olive growing, plastics, agriculture, and sea products. They are also involved in distribution and retail of these services.
5. Pakinam Kafafi
Pakinam Kafafi is an Egyptian woman who began her career in finance in the mid-1990s at EFG-Hermes. She eventually became the vice president of the same company in 2000.
Pakinam transitioned into the oil and energy sector in 2003 by joining Gas & Energy Group (GENCO) as the investment and strategy general manager.
Citadel Group later on acquired GENCO as well as its merger with TAQA Arabia.However, Pakianam maintained her role and was later appointed as the company’s CEO in April 2013. She expanded the business through the acquisition and various gas distribution mergers including AMEC, Edison, and ENI.
The company further diversified into power generation and distribution as well as the renewable energy market which was led by Pakianam.
6. Rawya Mansour
Rawya Mansour is an Egyptian businesswoman and descendant of one of the Egypts oldest families with an illustrious legacy.
In 1999, she founded RAMSCO for Refined Architecture and Interior Design. She expanded her business operations through starting RAMSCO for Trade and Distribution in 2007.
In 2012, she established the Organic Agriculture for Social International Solidarity in Monaco, which further demonstrated her commitment to business excellence, her industry and her family.
7. Olfa Marsaoui
Olfa Marsaoui hails from a distinguished family of experts in manufacturing and sales of gold. She joined her father and grandfather to expand the family’s gold business after her graduation from the Institut superieur de Gestion de Tunis wih a degree in computer science.
She has plans to include luxury gifts and crystal silverware to the company business activities which she is currently spearheading.
She is a member of the Executive Board of the CNFCE as well as an active member of the Rotary Club of Notre Dame.
8. Leila Belkhira Jaber
Leila Belkhira Jaber is an outstanding Tunisian businesswoman who was an Executive Board member of CNFCE from 2002 to 2012 and president since 2017
She co-founded Stelfair Tunisia in 1996, an organization in the field of e-marketing and web design and was also the CEO.
Leila has been an advocate for gender-equal opportunities, women’s entrepreneurship, and access to decision-making positions.
In 2019, she was named Woman of the Decade in Business and Leadership and was awarded the Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the ICT sector in 2015 and 2008. In 2019, she was also honored by the president of Tunisia and named commander of the republic.
9. Hafida Cheick
The Algerian construction business woman started her career in Saudi Arabia in1995 as a public relations officer for a private company.
She proceeded to work as a personal assistant in the Foreign Ministry’s cabinet from 2004 to 2007 before going to lead the Department of International Cooperation at Petroleum Sonatrach.
Cheick founded her own company, Ouali Corporation, specializing in truck transport in 2012. She expanded her business in 2015 to include the trade of raw materials for construction products, such as cement, insulation, carpentry, and partition materials.
10. Lamia Tazi
Lamia Tazi is a Moroccan businesswoman. In 1997, she joined Marocaine Ste de Therapeutique (Sothema), a 100 percent Moroccan pharmaceutical company, where she now serves as chairwoman and CEO, with more than 1,000 staff.
Sothema later became Morocco’s leading healthcare company, producing over 60 million pharmaceutical products per annum , working with 35 global laboratories, with sales across Europe, the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Persian Gulf.
Lamia is also the chairwoman of the Omar TAZI Foundation and a general board member at Azerys, an agricultural and natural resources company.
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