HIGH-LEVEL MEETING IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AFRICAN SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS TO BETTER INTEGRATE THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM
The Chief Executive Officer of the Fonds Souverain de Djibouti, Dr. Slim FERIANI, took part in a high-level meeting of African sovereign wealth funds on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 August 2022 at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.
The American investment fund “Brown Capital Management,” which exists for 39 years and manages $12 billion, invited twelve representatives of African Sovereign Wealth Funds in Washington D.C – including Dr. Slim FERIANI (Chief Executive Officer of Fonds Souverain de Djibouti).
They discussed the current situation of the African economy after the post-Covid-19 crisis, its consequences, and the jolts of the conflict in Ukraine causing the increase of food prices and energy bills.
The leaders of African Sovereign Wealth Funds created their grouping within ASIF (African Sovereign Investors Forum.)
Later, they actively discussed, for two days, the better integration of African financial institutions into the international financial system on issues of governance, economic growth, and sustainable development.
The renowned foundation, “Wilson Center,” dedicated to incubating new ideas and initiatives, hosted the workshop.
Participants also included diplomats, U.S. officials, bankers, experts, and representatives of major international institutions, including the African Development Bank, the OECD, the UNDP, the IMF, and the International Forum for Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF).
Through these centers of reflection, usually called “Think-Tanks,” significant projects are developed in the United States, projecting several scenarios.
In her opening speech, the Director of the Africa Investment Forum, Ms. Chinelo ANOHU, pointed out that “40 million Africans lived below the poverty line, mainly women and unemployed youth, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sanitary crisis wiped out two decades of development efforts in Africa in just two years of global economic recession. Estimating a minimum of $1.2 billion in direct investment per year is needed to enable African countries to achieve strong economic growth.”
The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) platform is dedicated to the African continent’s financial investments and economic development.
Mr. Mark GREEN, President of the Wilson Center, and Mr. Eddy BROWN, Founder and CEO of Brown Capital Management, also spoke at the conference. They both and emphasizedthat “it is essential to give Africa the attention it deserves.”
According to Mr. Mark Green, “African Sovereign Wealth Funds must adapt to the current crisis environment in a time of great upheaval and rapid change. He urged the leaders of African Sovereign Wealth Funds to stabilize their economies, respond to the challenges and seize the opportunities. According to him, “the future of the African continent depends on the implementation of major development projects that can ensure a high growth rate in each country. It is necessary to adapt to changes,” he insisted.
Mr. Eddy BROWN highlighted the achievements of the Brown Capital Management Africa Forum, underlining that “this meeting entitled “Strengthening the Role of African Sovereign Wealth Funds in the International Financial System,” is part of a series of meetings dedicated to Sovereign Wealth Funds preceded by the 2016 signature event titled: “Long-Term Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds,” hosted in Washington, D.C., and the 2019 high-level meeting co-hosted with the Central Bank of Botswana on the theme “Sovereign Wealth Funds in Africa: Principles and Best Practices for Securing the Future.”
Brown Capital Management Africa Forum is a leading platform for substantive and solution-oriented dialogue on key trade, investment, and development issues in Africa and the U.S.-Africa relationship.
Dr. Slim FERIANI stressed that “in a rapidly changing world, it is important to properly assess investment needs and ensure the implementation of sustainable development projects.” Mr. Feriani also added that “through these meetings, new partnerships have been forged to better integrate African Sovereign Wealth Funds into the international financial system and that the dialogue remains open to strengthening commercial relations between various parties.”
Sovereign wealth funds serve as essential tools to stabilize economies, promote development and savings, and ensure the transfer of wealth to future generations. By 2021, SWFs had $10.5 trillion in assets under management, representing 11% of the global economy.