AU, AEZO, hold symposium on Africa’s special economic zones

The African Union (AU) and the Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO) are organising the 5th African Union Symposium on Special Economic Zones, and the 7th edition of the AEZO annual meeting from November 30 to December 2, 2022, in Abuja – Nigeria.

The meeting will be convened under the theme “African special economic zones: Engine for resilience and accelerator for sustainable industrial value chains development.”

This year’s edition, according to the organisers, will pave the way for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Special Economic Zones scheme in Nigeria and will bring together over 400 participants representing government officials, ministers, heads of international organisations, eminent experts, academia, policy makers, financial institutions and representatives from economic zones and investment promotion agencies.

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African Special Economic Zones are considered as one of the main instruments that stimulate economic reforms, promote quality foreign direct investments (FDIs), and accelerate industrialisation across the continent.

According to the African Economic Zones Outlook – 2021 edition, more than 200 SEZs are operational in Africa while 73 projects have been announced for completion in 47 countries.

The land dedicated to SEZs is nearly 150,000 hectares while over $2.6 billion has been mobilised in investments dedicated to agro-processing, manufacturing and services.

The AEZO annual meeting and the 5th AU symposium on SEZs will provide guidance on cross cutting issues related to the contribution of SEZs in accelerating sustainable industrial value chain development.