VENTURES AFRICA – In a bid to stimulate investment in economic sectors other than mining, Zambia is set to launch a sovereign wealth fund, Imara Africa's equity research, quoted Michael Sata , the president of the copper producing country, as saying. This move makes Zambia the third African country to launch its fund after oil producers, Angola and Nigeria in recent times, the research, which was completed last week, stated. The fund will be launched through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in an effort to increase the worth of government assets, the research claimed. Financial backing for the fund will be in the form of the state's seed capital and disbursements from 40 state-owned firms. "There is a need for a coordinating unit to help with the country's industrial development," Zambian Commerce Minister, Robert Sichinga told Imara, without revealing the sum of money the state would be injecting into the fund. In the past decade, sovereign wealth funds have mushroomed in Africa on the back of strong incomes from commodities, mainly in the oil producing economies. According to the equity research, the biggest sovereign fund in Africa is the Libyan Investment Authority with about $65 billion in total assets. Recent major oil and gas findings in East and West Africa could possibly give new breaks for many African funds, the research claimed.
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