Energy Discoveries in Sub-Saharan Africa Drive SWF Creation

May 02, 2014 by Loch Adamson

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Several countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, Liberia, and Tanzania, are now racing to establish sovereign wealth funds to manage and safeguard their anticipated revenue from recent energy discoveries. But some of these emerging funds may struggle to resist competing demands for their assets because their sponsoring nations still face deep-rooted economic and structural vulnerabilities. In February 2012, while exploring the azure waters of the Indian Ocean near East Africa, energy companies Statoil of Norway and Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. discovered a vast deposit of natural gas buried deep in the Rovuma Basin, 60 miles off the Tanzanian coast. Several more such finds have revealed that Tanzania’s coastline may contain some 42 trillion cubic feet of gas — enough to sustain a major new export industry. Tanzania isn’t alone in its newfound wealth. From the Great Rift Valley in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west, sub-Saharan…

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