Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch Richest Man in Morocco

Rabat – In just eight months, Morocco’s Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch has managed to seize the title of Morocco’s richest man from Moroccan businessman Othman Benjelloun, according to Forbes’ list of 2017 World’s Billionaires.The list, which was released on December 25, says that the minister’s fortune is now worth MAD 21 billion. His wealth increased from USD 1.5 billion in March 2017, to USD 2.1 billion in December 2017, representing an increase of USD 600 million in just eight months.In its March’s list, Forbes listed Akhannouch, who is also the Secretary-General of the National Rally of Independence Party, as Morocco’s second richest billionaire. The first place was taken by Moroccan renowned businessman, Othman Benjelloun, who was now dethroned by Akhannouch on December’s list. The increase mirrors the positive performance of Akhannouch’s projects: Akwa Group, a multibillion-dollar Moroccan conglomerate with interests in petroleum, gas and chemicals through, as well as his publicly-traded subsidiaries Afriquia Gas and Maghreb Oxygene.Akhannouch’s fortune was boosted through his activities in media, real estate and in the field of hostelry. Forbes also highlighted his wife’s, Salwa Akhannouch, activities. Salwa, businesswoman and Aksal group founder, has launched earlier this year her new smart beauty and cosmetics store, Yan&One, in Casablanca’s Morocco Mall.The Yan&One store offers a multitude of products (make-up, care, beauty, fragrances, hygiene, accessories and teas). It’s products are elaborated by the biggest European laboratories in Switzerland and in France.As for Benjelloun, his fortune was estimated at USD 1.9 billion in March. His wealth, however, decreased by USD 300 million in December, said the American magazine.The businessman, who is also president of BMCE Bank and FinanceCom,  was listed 14th richest person in Africa and 1,098th richest person in the world.Benjelloun is also the shareholder of the majority of the RMA Watanya insurance company and holds a share of the mobile telecommunications operator Orange.