How to Make Zones Work Better in Africa?
July 29, 2015 Editor 0
Sub-Saharan Arica has launched a new wave of “special economic zones” (SEZs), with more and more countries establishing or planning to establish SEZs or industrial parks. However, can Africa overcome the past stigma and make the zone programs truly successful?
This was one of the hot topics during the China-Africa “Investing in Africa Forum,” held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from June 30 to July 1, organized by the World Bank Group with the government of Ethiopia, the government of China, the China Development Bank and UNIDO.
Why did the the African zones fail, in the past, to attract many investors? My answer was they were not truly “special” in terms of business environment and infrastructure provisions, and many constraints were not significantly improved inside the zones. This analysis was supported by another panelist, His Excellency Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. According to Dr. Oqubay, past zones in Africa were “missing the ‘basics’ such as power, water and one-stop services, and were not aligned with national development strategy.”
That viewpoint was shared by almost all the other panelists, which included senior African and Chinese officials and international experts at the SEZ session, which was characterized with candid discussions and greatly benefited from the background paper prepared by Douglas Zeng of the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice.
- Is Africa ready to climb the value chain in agriculture?
- International, regional and local bodies create Ethiopian astronomy node
- Breaking down barriers to competition: Unlocking Africa’s potential through a regional platform for cooperation
- Value chains learning hubs workshop: co-creating solutions for eastern and southern Africa
- Shift to applied research ‘key to Africa’s prosperity’
- W/Video Via ViewChange, Oxfam: This World Food Day, Making it Africa’s Last Famine
Categories: World Bank PSD
Subscribe to our stories
- Device that recycles vaporized water from power plants wins MIT $100K May 28, 2019
- Why Do Foreign Investors’ Attitudes toward Women Matter? May 28, 2019
- When less is more: coordinating innovation in open versus closed source software development May 28, 2019
- Social entrepreneurship: an emerging market perspective, some fresh evidence from Ghana May 28, 2019
- Influence of personal traits on social entrepreneurship intention: an empirical study related to Tunisia May 28, 2019