Catalyzing Digital Economy in Africa: The Role of African Sovereign Wealth Funds

21 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2020

See all articles by Geoffrey Adonu

Geoffrey Adonu

New York University School of Law; Babcock University, School of Law and Security Studies

Date Written: January 20, 2020

Abstract

Over the past few years, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) have become major investors in digital technologies and the digital economy. For instance, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia invested billions of dollars in global tech giants like the ride-hailing company, Uber and the electric car maker, Tesla as well as Vision Fund, SoftBank’s multi-billion dollars tech-focused venture capital fund. In addition to global technology investments, SWFs, especially those from developing countries, have been increasingly investing in their domestic innovative and digital economies, with a view to boosting innovation and diversifying the economies of their respective countries. In this paper, the author considers the potential role of African SWFs in promoting digital transformation and the digital economy in the continent. Specifically, the paper argues that African SWFs (given their long investment horizon and large pool of capital among others) are well-placed to become key drivers of innovation and the digital economy in their respective countries and in Africa as a whole, by among other things, allocating substantial portion of their assets under management digital infrastructure development and provision of venture financing to their respective entrepreneurial and innovative economies.

Keywords: Sovereign Wealth Funds, Digital Economy, SovereignVenture Financing

Suggested Citation

Adonu, Geoffrey, Catalyzing Digital Economy in Africa: The Role of African Sovereign Wealth Funds (January 20, 2020). NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3631165, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3631165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3631165

Geoffrey Adonu (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

New York
New York
United States

Babcock University, School of Law and Security Studies ( email )

Ilishan, Ogun State
Nigeria

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