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African Sovereign Wealth Funds: Facts and Figures

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  • Ewa Cieślik

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ewa Cieślik, 2014. "African Sovereign Wealth Funds: Facts and Figures," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 6, pages 103-122.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgh:gosnar:y:2014:i:6:p:103-122
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sovereign wealth fund; Africa; investment targets;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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