Saturday, February 26, 2011

China's Special Economic Zones in Africa

Outside a Chinese residential project near Addis (not the Zone).
Last week I was in Ethiopia for a quick trip with the China-DAC Study Group, a two year effort to build bridges between China, OECD countries and African countries in the broad area of development assistance. I had a chance to visit the Chinese Eastern Industry Zone (thank you, Michael!), probably the slowest of the six zones in Africa to get going, but which is moving ahead quickly now. The single factory on site, a cement factory, is owned by the zone developers, and apparently profits from the factory are helping them overcome capital shortages experienced in earlier years, enabling the infra. The two photos below show the sign at the entrance to the zone, and the factory shells being constructed by the developers, which will be rented out to other industrialists.

If you're interested in learning more about these zones, the Journal of Modern African Studies (January 2011) has just published an article I wrote with Tang Xiaoyang: "African Shenzhen: China's Special Economic Zones in Africa." This is based on our fieldwork between 2007 and 2009 covering all six official African zones (Mauritius-JinFei; Nigeria-Ogun; Nigeria-Lekki; Zambia-Chambishi/Lusaka; Egypt-Suez; Ethiopia-Eastern). Here's the abstract:
Industrial sites being constructed at the Eastern Zone

Abstract: "This article examines recent Chinese efforts to construct a series of official economic cooperation zones in Africa. These zones are a central platform in China’s announced strategy of engagement in Africa as ‘mutual benefit’. We analyse the background, motives and implementation of the zones, and argue that they form a unique, experimental model of development cooperation in Africa : market-based decisions and investment by Chinese companies are combined with support and subsidies from an Asian ‘developmental state ’. Though this cooperation provides a promising new approach to sustainable industrialisation, we also identify serious political, economic and social challenges. Inadequate local learning and local participation could affect the ability of the zones to catalyse African industrialisation. The synergy between Chinese enterprises, the Chinese government and African governments has been evolving through practice. A case study of Egypt provides insight into this learning process."

17 comments:

  1. is there an ungated version of the paper available?

    Also, where are the other five zones.

    Thanks for the good work.

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  2. On Monday I will post a copy of the article on my personal website at AU; I'll add that link. The other five zones are (1) Mauritius; (2) Zambia-chambishi; (3) Egypt-Suez; (4) Nigeria-Ogun; (5) Nigeria-Lekki.

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  3. Six special economic zones setup by the PRC in Africa as of 2011:

    1: Chambishi, Zambia - specializing in the production and processing of copper and copper related industries.
    2: Lusaka, Zambia - specializing in the production of garments, food, appliances, tobacco and electronics.
    3: Jinfei, Mauritius - specializing in the production of manufactured goods (textiles, garments, machinery, high-tech), trade, tourism and finance.
    4: Oriental, Ethiopia - specializing in the production of electrical machinery, construction materials, steel and metallurgy.
    5: Ogun, Nigeria, - specializing in the production of construction materials, ceramics, ironware, furniture, wood processing, medicine, and computers.
    6: Lekki, Nigeria - specializing in the production of transportation equipment, textiles, home appliances, telecommunications, and light industry.

    I also put together a map that I have posted on Wikipedia which you can see here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chinese_Industrial_Zones_in_Africa_2011.png

    The numbers above correspond to the map. Don't know if it is any good but it is based on the best information I could find. Hope it is helpful. Please do let me know if it is inaccurate in any way.

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  4. Hi Discott -- good research -- the Lusaka zone is considered a "subzone" of the Chambishi zone in Zambia. The Egypt zone at Suez is also one of the official Chinese zones.
    BTW, I've edited my original post to include a direct link to the article on my university webpage.

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  5. Thank you very much Deborah.

    The updated list with the Suez zone and using a new map I just uploaded looks like this:

    1: Chambishi, Zambia - copper and copper related industries.
    2: Lusaka, Zambia - garments, food, appliances, tobacco and electronics. This zone is classified as a subzone of the Chambishi zone.
    3: Jinfei, Mauritius - manufacturing (textiles, garments, machinery, high-tech), trade, tourism and finance.
    4: Oriental, Ethiopia - electrical machinery, construction materials, steel and metallurgy.
    5: Ogun, Nigeria, - construction materials, ceramics, ironware, furniture, wood processing, medicine, and computers.
    6: Lekki, Nigeria - transportation equipment, textiles, home appliances, telecommunications, and light industry.
    7: Suez, Egyp - petroleum equipment, electrical appliance, textile and automobile manufacturers. (completed in October 2010)

    The map is at:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinese_Industrial_Zones_in_Africa_2011.png
    The map has been released into the commons so anyone can do whatever they like with it.

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  6. Dear Deborah

    I was wondering if you would be interested to write an article for my publication produced ny ICTSD. Please let me know how I can contact you (email).

    KG

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  7. What do you think of this article?
    Africa-China: A path to mutual prosperity?http://www.makingitmagazine.net/?p=3050
    Xiao Ye examines the recent expansion in trade between sub-Saharan Africa and China, and asks how African countries can seize the new opportunities it provides to advance their own development agendas

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  8. The article you referenced is an abridged version of a paper that Xiao Ye (a World Bank economist) did for the African Development Bank. Here's the full 40 page version: http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Knowledge/Session%20II.1.2_1_A%20path%20to%20mutral%20prosperity_the%20Trade%20and%20investment%20between%20China%20and%20Africa.pdf
    It's a useful collection of statistics (although I wonder what are the author's sources for the statements that the United States’ FDI stock [in Africa] totaled US$69bn in 2008 -- I can't find that statistic on the BEA website). The paper is also colored by some interesting anecdotes. I liked the box on the vuvuzela, especially -- might use that one as a discussion case in my seminar on China and the Developing World~!

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  9. Thank you Dr. Brautigam for the direct link to the manuscript.

    Alecia D. Hoffman

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  10. I just finished reading your book (paperback) and your JMAS article, and I am delighted you went to Ethiopia. In many studies, including in yours, Sino-Ethiopian relations receive less scholarly attention (than it desrves), perhaps partly because it is a seemingly puzzling case.

    Thank you for writing a potentially 'paradigm-shifting' book, and keep up the good work. SAH

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  11. Notice that on the photo, Prof. Brautigam is standing beside a poster urging : ''You who are entering this construction site, please don't neglect safety concerns!''

    Sixty-center.

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  12. China's Real Estate is generating Billions for their economy. It is still booming to massive proportions.

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  13. Hello,
    could you please explain to me, when dealing with China´s SEZs in Africa, what is the location of SEZ in Etiopia - what does Oriental actually mean? is the zone location simply in the eastern part of the country? isn´t there a specific city?
    and same problem with Algeria - Jiangling is a chinese company, right? what city is the zone in Algeria located in?
    Thank you so much for your help...
    Best regards Helena

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  14. Hi Helena
    (1) There is no zone in Algeria. One was proposed by Jiangling, and selected in a national tender for support from MOFCOM, but it never went forward for reasons I outline in my report for the World Bank.
    (2) The Eastern ("Oriental") Industrial Zone is near Dukem, about a 40 minute drive from Addis.

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  15. Thank you very much for explanation. It helped me a lot. could you please tell me the location of SEZ in Mauricius as well?
    I started with Dragon´s gift, now I continue reading your articles... thank you for all that work you have done and passing on your knowledge

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  16. Though late, may I Kindly have a copy?

    mskudzie@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete