The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015
Thu 26 Feb 2015 12:00 PM
Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch
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Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch

Industry: Retail

Company: Aksal Group

Designation: CEO and founder

Country: Morocco

As the head of Akwa Group, a distributor of petroleum products, and the CEO of retail and luxury group Aksal, Akhannouch is one of Morocco’s wealthiest female entrepreneurs.

Despite being born into privilege, Akhannouch decided to take the harder route to wealth and success. No doubt benefitting from her grandfather’s tea empire and husband’s political standing, the high-flier has worked tirelessly to put – and keep – herself at the top of the luxury market in North Africa.

Her career started in 1993 when she launched a distribution company for floor laying materials, but things have changed a lot in the intervening years.

Among other things, she holds exclusive rights in Morocco to distribute various fashion brands such as Zara, Banana Republic and Gap, and has built an impressive real estate portfolio, including 50 percent of Morocco Mall – Africa’s largest shopping centre, which attracts 15 million visitors each year.