Africa investor (Ai) today convened the African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable, an exclusive Forum of the continent’s most influential Chairmen, CEO’s and CIO’s of African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds, to discuss the role and response of African institutional investors in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic across Africa.
The Forum was Co-Chaired by Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman Africa investor Group (Ai), Chairman, African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum and Uche Orji, CEO of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
The Covid-19 shock will squeeze fiscal space in the continent, as deficits are estimated to widen by 3.5 to 4.9 percentage points, increasing Africa’s financing gap by an additional $110 to $154 billion in 2020.
Africa’s institutional investment community responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars of assets, which it manages and invests on behalf of its members and future generations, is uniquely placed to support African governments and policy makers, (through its unparalleled expertise on long-term investing), plan for and anticipate long-term investment needs, risks and priorities, so African economies can stabilize, grow and thrive in the new post COVID-19 economy.
Roundtable participants discussed the role African Institutional investors can play in support of broader government and development finance related initiatives to fight COVID-19 with a particular focus on:
- Immediate Priority Responses, to protect African capital markets, SME’s, Supply Chains and the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) from the economic fallout of COVID-19, and
- Partnerships with Policy Makers, to foster industry shifts and the next normal regulatory environment required for African economies and industry to thrive and grow.
In spite of the direct impacts COVID-19 has had on investors portfolios, Roundtable participants shared a number of impressive initiatives currently being undertaken to fight the Corona virus, with a strong commitment to deepen partnership on interventions, including but not limited to, collaborating on assisting SME supply chain and trade support through digitization (esp healthcare and Agriculture related), pursue ESG compliant infrastructure co-investment partnerships, (esp healthcare and Agriculture related), develop and communicate seminal pandemic combative institutional investment models and research insights, motivate for governments to consider directing some of their Quantitative Easing/Emergency funding towards SWFs to allocate and invest into their local and regional economies, engage in policy partnerships with Central Bank Governors on framing the new regulatory environment and investment needs of the post Covid-19 economy and coordinate and correlate responses with global peer institutional investor and private sector industry bodies.