Strengthening Africa’s emerging pension fund sector
African pension funds could be pivotal to the continent’s development and plug gaps left by the withdrawal of foreign capital. The sector has been proliferating with assets under management in Nigeria rising almost tenfold since 2006 to $33bn. More privately managed pension funds targeting Africa’s middle class are also emerging through a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Yet only 15% of Africans have pension coverage as informal sectors make up 80% of the workforce. With varying cross-border investment rules and limits on alternative asset classes, such as private equity in some countries, how can the sector build capacity, participate in long-term, cross-border investments and become more financially inclusive?
- Enabling regulation – what incentives will encourage investment in long-term development projects?
- Unexplored territory – How to expand coverage to informal sectors and alternative asset classes
- Pooling resources – How can consortiums co-invest in interregional projects and attract overseas counterparts for more diversified investments?
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