Dr. Adam Dixon, PI of the ERC SWFsEUROPE project, joined heads of African sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and senior policymakers for a high-level meeting in Gaborone, Botswana from 9 to 10 May for on “Sovereign Wealth Funds in Africa: Policies and Best Practices for Securing the Future.”, co-organized by the the Wilson Center and the Bank of Botswana, under the banner of the Brown Capital Management Africa Forum.
This meeting was the second in the series building on the successful dialogue, for which Adam participated and wrote a key background document, at the 2016 Brown Capital Management Africa Forum signature event “Long-Term Sustainable Development in Africa: the Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds” which was hosted in Washington, D.C.
H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, officially opened the meeting at a ceremony attended by over 130 stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including members of the international diplomatic corps, multilateral organizations, government officials, the private sector, and the media. President Masisi’s presence spoke to the increasingly important role of sovereign wealth funds in Africa, as well as Botswana’s leadership as the first African country to establish a sovereign wealth fund. Mr. Moses Pelaelo, Governor of the Bank of Botswana, welcomed delegates to Botswana. Mr. Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer at the World Bank delivered the keynote address. The opening ceremony also featured Ambassador Craig Cloud, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Eddie C. Brown, Member, Wilson Center National Cabinet, and Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Brown Capital Management, LLC, and Monde Muyangwa, Director, Africa Program, Wilson Center. The opening ceremony broadcasted on Botswana Television (BTV).
Sixty delegates from 15 countries participated in the core deliberations over the course of the two days. They included CEOs of African SWFs as well as senior officials from African countries with established sovereign wealth funds and from countries currently in the process of establishing such funds including Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Delegates included representatives from the United States Government as well as multilateral organizations including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Subject matter experts and practitioners hailed from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, American University (United States), the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Maastricht University (Netherlands), Africa investor (Ai), and Summa Ltd. As the host country, Botswana had representatives from a number of public and private institutions including the Bank of Botswana, Business Botswana, Botswana Pension Fund, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Botswana Development Cooperation, Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, the Financial Intelligence Agency, and the University of Botswana.