This article discusses the features of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) created from accumulated foreign reserves in African countries that export commodities. The author describes the investment targets of African SWFs, using empirical data and a research method based on a detailed analysis of available information on the investment activities of SWFs in the last 20 years.
Conclusions from the analysis indicate that, due to the poor transparency of African SWFs,
gathering the necessary statistics, general information and literature on the institutional arrangements and business strategies involved still remains a challenge.
The study uses press articles and reports that are compared against other sources of information in order to increase credibility. Due to the small size of African SWFs, their role in stimulating the economic development of the continent is limited by many institutional, economic and political factors.
African SWFs are not a homogeneous group. They can be beneficial for nations if they are used and structured properly in order to take advantage of their full potential. This implies that most of the African SWFs would have to expand their stabilization goals and move gradually to instruments intended for achieving economic development, intergenerational transfers of resources, financial sector stabilization, and promotion of regional integration.
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