OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Sovereign Wealth Funds as Investors in Africa

Opportunities and Barriers

This paper studies the opportunities and barriers for Sovereign Wealth Funds’ (SWFs) investments in Africa. Based on historical databases on SWFs’ transactions, it shows that SWFs can facilitate up to 50% of the investment needs in infrastructure in Africa over the next decade to meet the Millennium Development Goals over the 2010-20 decade, and that African economies can benefit highly from the rising investor interest, which stretches increasingly beyond natural resources. However, there are specific barriers to SWF investments. Some of them are structural (lack of technologies; small size, low liquidity and fragmentation of markets; bad sovereign ratings; weak regulatory framework; lack of capacity building), requiring long-term changes, whereas others require shorter term adjustments (more co-ordinated development strategies, more active actions dedicated to SWFs). The international community and major financial institutions may also play an increasingly active role in channelling SWFs into Africa.


Keywords: developing countries, cross-border investment, sovereign wealth fund
JEL: O19: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations; F21: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements; O55: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Africa; O16: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance; Q3: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation; F3: International Economics / International Finance
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error