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Silver Lining for African Economies

The global pandemic was a moment of vindication for African sovereign wealth funds focused on their local economies as the Covid-19 crisis stoked demand across industries from pharmaceuticals to farming. A report published on Wednesday by the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and Franklin Templeton found that “for those sovereign wealth funds that do invest domestically, the pandemic has been a boon.” A dislocation in markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic soon gave way to the challenge of shielding economies in Africa that were already starved of investment and held back by corruption and instability. As wealth funds from Angola, Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria stepped in to help finance public spending, others looked to boost returns at a time of extra low interest rates by considering greater allocations to emerging markets such as China, according to the report. The study consisted of interviews with officials at institutions either operating or planning a wealth fund and included a survey of eight of Africa’s established sovereign wealth funds.