New board for Sovereign Wealth Fund Professor Mthuli Ncube

Farirai Machivenyika

Senior Reporter

THE Sovereign Wealth Fund, designed to build up a portfolio of State investments, now has a new active board which held its inaugural meeting yesterday with Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube stressing the importance of building the country’s wealth for the benefit of future generations.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund is a State-owned investment fund established from the balance of payment surpluses, official foreign currency operations, the proceeds of privatisation, government transfer payments, fiscal surpluses and resource earnings.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund was created in 2014 following the enactment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act but was only funded when the Second Republic decided to make budgetary provisions and resurrect what had been a moribund entity.

“The Sovereign Wealth Fund is necessary in any economy as a way of ensuring inter-generational equity such that current wealth can be passed on to future generations and often it is countries that have natural resources that establish Sovereign Wealth Funds be they oil producers, gas producers and so forth,” said Prof Ncube.

“As for Zimbabwe our wealth endowment is still being discovered like oil and gas and we also have so many mineral elements underground and all of this augurs well for our wealth creation going forward”.

The Minister said the Sovereign Wealth Fund would also be used as a way to create the Government balance sheet to put value to State assets and liabilities.

“In fact the Government through the Ministries of Local Government and Finance controls something like 45 000 properties but there is no value on them, and that’s a waste. That is something we would want to correct through the Sovereign Wealth Fund so that we can account for assets and liabilities properly. So far the Sovereign Wealth Fund has assets in the coal sector, oil and gas, lithium and is keen to have its hands in the gold sector. Outside the mining sector, there is a new pharmaceutical joint venture with a company from the United Arab Emirates.

“So the portfolio is going to grow and expand in other sectors of the economy and I am pleased that the board is composed of members with vast skills, diverse skills that are necessary for growing this fund to truly be a vehicle to benefit future generations and not just the current generations,” he said. The seven-member Board is chaired by Dr Andries Rukobo and other members are Mr Nicholas Vingirai, Mr Tafadzwa Chinamo, Mr Nicholas Ncube, Ms Sithembile Philime, Ms Chipo Mhini and Dr Kupukile Mlambo who is the chief executive officer.

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