The European Business Council for Africa

Since the late 90s, African Special Economic Zones have gained considerable traction and are considered as one of the main instruments to stimulate economic growth, promote FDI, and accelerate industrialization.

According to the African Economic Zones Outlook 2021, there are 203 operational SEZs in Africa and 73 projects that have been announced for completion. SEZs are well developed across the continent and present in 47 of the 54 countries, and are responsible for the creation of 60 million jobs in agro-processing, manufacturing and services, with an average female participation of close to 37%.

Through the major role of accelerating industrialization and boosting industrial transformation, SEZs have rightfully proven their unshaken status as a resilient economic stimulator and accelerator of sustainable industrial value chaindevelopment

While sustainability and durability have long been priorities for SEZs operators in Africa, they have not been adequately emphasized as much as they should have been until recently. As such, introducing new business models fit for an urban framework that combines waste management, energy transition, health and wellbeing, among other factors, is key to ensuring the successful implementation of sustainable SEZs projects.


Source: AEZO