Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch is a top figure in Morocco’s business scene and beyond, making waves across Africa. As the founder and CEO of Aksal Group, she has led the company to unprecedented success, positioning it as a trailblazer in retail, luxury goods, department stores, and shopping malls within Morocco.
Under Salwa’s leadership, Aksal Group has reached astonishing heights, boasting numerous subsidiaries that reflect her resilience and strategic investments. She set a remarkable benchmark for excellence in Africa, with an initial investment exceeding $240 million in 2007. Aksal’s influence extends to exclusive franchises for renowned fashion brands such as Zara, Banana Republic, Pull & Bear, and Gap, reshaping the fashion landscape of the nation.
Salwa’s entrepreneurial journey is deeply rooted in her family legacy, particularly her grandfather Haj Ahmed Belfiqih, a prominent figure in Morocco’s tea trade during the 1960s. Beyond her business triumphs, Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch is a champion of philanthropy, with a commitment to social responsibility evident in impactful initiatives focused on education, women’s empowerment, and sustainable development, catalyzing positive change.
Widely recognized as one of Morocco’s most affluent female entrepreneurs, Salwa wields significant influence that goes beyond business corridors. Her unwavering dedication and pioneering spirit make her a beacon of inspiration. Her legacy as a visionary leader continues to inspire a generation of aspiring entrepreneurs, fostering innovation, resilience, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence.
Billionaires.Africa sheds light on nine businesses owned by Salwa Idrissi — each company not only reflects her strategic brilliance but also embodies her commitment to diversity, excellence, and positive global change.
- Aksal Group
At the helm of the Aksal Group, Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch has steered this conglomerate to the forefront of Morocco’s retail industry. As the CEO, her leadership has been instrumental in expanding the group’s influence, managing a diverse portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands, and overseeing prominent shopping malls and retail outlets across the country.
- AKSAL Malls
Aksal Group’s venture into mall development, particularly the iconic Morocco Mall in Casablanca, stands as a testament to innovation. Launched in 2009, AKSAL Malls, under Akhannouch’s guidance, has redefined Morocco’s mall landscape. The Morocco Mall, inaugurated in 2011, is not only Africa’s second-largest shopping center but also a symbol of AKSAL’s significant ownership stake in this €175 million ($250 million) project.
- AKSAL Digital
Recognizing the importance of digital integration, AKSAL, under Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch’s direction, has prioritized omni-channel solutions since 2016. This strategic focus aims to reshape customer experiences for a tech-savvy, mobile audience, reflecting a commitment to staying ahead in a dynamic retail landscape.
- AKSAL Academy
Founded in 2011, the AKSAL Academy, a brainchild of Akhannouch, stands as a transformative institution offering training programs in retail, services, and mall management. This pioneering academy has opened doors to diverse career paths, significantly contributing to the creation of new opportunities for individuals from various backgrounds in Morocco.
- AKSAL Cosmetics
Aksal Cosmetics, anchored by Sephora Morocco within the Aksal Group, offers an extensive range of beauty products. Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch’s personal venture, Yan&One, launched in 2017, further enriches the beauty retail landscape within Morocco Mall. This smart beauty and cosmetics store exemplify her commitment to providing customers with a diverse range of beauty options.
- AKSAL Developments
The newly established AKSAL Developments, a division within Aksal Group, is pioneering smart lifestyle social shopping projects in key Moroccan locations. These projects, at the intersection of physical and digital retail, promise to redefine retail therapy through technology-embedded, beautifully designed spaces.
- AKSAL Retail
A subsidiary of Aksal Group, AKSAL Retail (Moroccan Retail Group) focuses on expanding retail and consumer-centric enterprises in Morocco. Noteworthy among its holdings is Label’Vie, a leading supermarket and hypermarket chain in Morocco, where Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch has a significant stake.
- AKSAL Luxury
Aksal Luxury, Morocco’s leading retailer of luxury goods, has become a powerhouse under Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch’s leadership. With contracts with prestigious brands, Aksal Luxury has expanded its portfolio to include names like Gucci, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, MAC Cosmetics, La Martina, and Armani, contributing significantly to the development of luxury goods in Africa.
- AKSAL Foundation
Since 2004, AKSAL, through its Social Initiative corporate foundation, has been dedicated to supporting human development. Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch’s vision extends beyond business, with a commitment to social, economic, cultural, educational, and health factors, aiming for a socially and sustainably responsible future. The foundation undertakes actions with a direct and sustainable impact on the daily lives and future of populations, reflecting a commitment to fostering positive social change.