Op-Ed: Africa’s Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are a Source of Development Finance

Austerity measures resulting from constrained fiscal space to respond and recover from COVID-19 are forcing policy makers to think innovatively about all available options to finance development. In August 2020, Namibia, for the first time in three decades of its independent history, applied for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) emergency loan to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in June, the Government released a statement to announce the decision by Cabinet to set-up a sovereign wealth fund (SWF), assigning the Ministry of Finance the task to research and find an appropriate model and plan to set up the SWF. If implemented, Namibia will be joining a select group of African countries that are already using this mechanism to fund development projects, and to catalyse additional and non-traditional finance.

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