The importance of unlocking the potential of African sovereign wealth funds, strategic investment funds, pensions, and life insurance assets, estimated at a staggering $2.3 trillion, was highlighted by Solomon Quaynor, the Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialisation at the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Quaynor urged for unity and emphasized the commitment of the African Development Bank to support the establishment and operations of the African Sovereign Wealth Funds secretariat.
Additionally, the bank intends to collaborate with ASIF members to develop and finance transformative strategic projects across the continent.
Under the theme “Strategic Partnerships: driving Africa’s resilience and sustainable development,” the Second Annual Meeting of the Africa Sovereign Investors Forum (ASIF) took place in Kigali from the 6th to 7th of July. ASIF, launched in June 2022 in Rabat, Morocco, by ten African sovereign wealth funds, aims to facilitate the mobilization of long-term capital to foster Africa’s development.
During the inaugural event, a letter of intent was signed by the African Development Bank, Africa50, and ASIF to enhance cooperation in the development of green and climate-resilient infrastructure projects across Africa. This collaboration strengthens the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA).
Prominent sovereign wealth funds such as Agaciro Development Fund, Fonds Souverain de Djibouti, Fonds Gabonais d’Investissements Stratégiques, Fonds Souverain d’Investissements Stratégiques, Fundo Soberano de Angola, Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, Ithmar Capital, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, and Sovereign Fund of Egypt form the ASIF founding members.
The recent meeting, hosted by the Agaciro Development Fund, provided a platform for dialogue and collaboration among various stakeholders, including African sovereign wealth funds, strategic investment funds, pension funds, life insurance companies, asset managers, governments, regulators, and investment professionals. The forum aimed to strengthen strategic partnerships to pool financial and technical resources, promoting investment in crucial sectors for Africa’s development, including climate-resilient energy, infrastructure, healthcare, technology, and agriculture. The discussions revolved around showcasing Africa’s abundant investment opportunities, understanding the risk landscape, and fostering partnerships to mobilize substantial capital and investment for Africa’s economic transformation.
Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente emphasized the key role he expects African sovereign wealth funds to play in developing an efficient and diversified economy.
He emphasized the importance of effective management of these funds. Minister of Public Investments and Privatization of Rwanda, Eric Rwigamba, acknowledged the challenges faced by Africa and the opportunity presented by ASIF’s second annual meeting.
He recognized the value of a united platform for key stakeholders and global experts to engage in dialogue, contributing to the strategic focus on Africa’s development aspirations in a competitive global economic environment.
Obaïd Amrane, the CEO of Ithmar Capital and Chairperson of ASIF, outlined the goal of fostering investments and attracting international capital.
Amrane emphasized the need for Africa to be seen as an investment destination rather than solely relying on aid for development. He highlighted the possibility of deploying capital on the continent based on international standards and urged sovereign funds and Africans to set an example by transforming opportunities into tangible projects and investments.
ASIF’s membership expanded with the inclusion of two sovereign wealth funds, Ethiopia Investment Holdings, and Mauritius Investment Corporation.
Participants at the meeting unanimously recognized the importance of mobilizing African institutional investments into transformative projects on the continent to attract private and institutional investors from around the world.
The Second Annual Meeting of ASIF served as a platform to underscore the significance of strategic partnerships in mobilizing capital for Africa’s prosperity.
With concerted efforts from African sovereign wealth funds, collaboration with international organizations, and the pooling of resources, the continent can unlock its vast potential and drive sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.