15 CEOs to watch in 2015: Moulay Hafid Elalamy

15 CEOs to watch in 2015: Moulay Hafid Elalamy

Moulay Hafid Elalamy, President and Founder, Saham Insurance; Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, MoroccoInvestment and Digital Economy, Morocco

Entrepreneur and politician Moulay Hafid Elalamy is one of the wealthiest men in Africa, with a fortune estimated at $500m built in the insurance business. He founded Saham Group in 1995 after years as CEO of the African Insurance Company of Morocco.

Today, Saham is one of Morocco’s largest privately held service companies, with activities including call centres and clinics.

The growing asset-owning middle class and expansion of international and local commercial enterprises in Africa has created an enormous market for insurance products, and the sector is routinely discussed as one of the continent’s most lucrative investment opportunities.

Saham has tapped into it, operating in 19 African countries. The company bought controlling stakes in Corar-AG in Rwanda, Mercantile Insurance in Kenya and AG Angola Seguros in Angola.

In October 2013, Elalamy was appointed to the Moroccan cabinet as Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, a role where his experience in sub-Saharan Africa could be significant.

Morocco has emerged as a major source of foreign direct investment into the rest of the continent, and is making a play to become a gateway to the wider continent with the establishment of a financial services hub in Casablanca. Elalamy has a strong appreciation of Africa’s potential, and 2015 could be a year where Moroccan business leans heavily on his expertise.


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Written by Alexa Dalby

Alexa Dalby is a freelance arts and business journalist, with over 20 years varied experience of writing and broadcasting about Africa, and is currently assistant editor of African Business and African Banker magazines. She is a film critic and a specialist in African and Middle Eastern cinema.

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