World Bank urges wealth funds to invest in Africa

The World Bank is embarking on a campaign to convince sovereign wealth funds to part with some of their cash to boost development in sub-Saharan Africa. “Where some see sovereign funds as a source of concern, we see opportunity,” said World Bank President Robert Zoellick during the launching of the “One Percent Solution” initiative. “This 1 percent could be the start of something much bigger, across more types of funds and countries, because the investment of wealth into equity for development offers opportunity, not something to fear,” he continued. In the midst of concerns of politically motivated investments by these entities, the Group of Seven industrial nations requested the International Monetary Fund to devise a best-practice guide that would promote transparency and offer awareness of the role and importance of wealth funds. “Yes, the sovereign funds need transparency and should be guided by best practices to avoid politicization. But I believe we should celebrate a possibility that government-sponsored funds will invest equity in development,” Zoellick remarked. “(The International Finance Corporation) is now working on an open architecture platform for funds, drawing on IFC’s access, knowledge, and capital, but also welcoming joint ventures with governments and their funds.”

Source: World Bank looks to lure wealth funds into Africa (Reuters)

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