Developing integrated programmes to alleviate binding constraints to Development by fostering structural transformation, building productive Capacities and enhancing investment opportunities and linkages with China

The project aims to assist eight developing economies in Africa to harness the transformative potential of Chinese partnership in Africa, including in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, for their economic development.

The eight developing countries targeted by this project (Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe) are already beneficiaries of increased trade and investment relations with China. However, a lot remains to be done to seize the trade and investment opportunities arising from Chinese engagement into sustainable development gains, due, to the weak productive capacities and lack of structural economic transformation in beneficiary countries.

By identifying and analyzing the key binding constraints to the fostering of productive capacities and structural transformation in the eight developing countries, the project will assist in multiplying the potential development benefits of the trade and investment relations with China and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The project also assists in developing concrete capacity-building programmes and policy-oriented support to the eight countries to harness closer trade and investment links with China.

The expected outcomes of the project will be threefold:

  • A detailed analysis of the binding constraints to growth and the fostering of productive capacities in each of the African developing countries targeted, as well as the identification of key sectors with potential for significant growth and productivity gains, and recommendations for harnessing trade and investment links with China to overcome these constraints.
  • Eight country-specific roadmaps for holistic, multi-year technical assistance and capacity building programmes to support the lifting of binding constraints and fostering productive capacities, as well strengthening of sectors and industries with development potential. The programmes will draw on UNCTAD’s expertise across different aspects of development, including investment policy, entrepreneurship development, trade policy, transport and transit policy, and customs systems automation.
  • Finally, the project will support the capacities of national policy-makers to address the identified binding constraints to development, including through tools such as UNCTAD’s Productive Capacities Index (PCI), and formulate policies to address them through partnerships with China and the Chinese private sector, as well as strengthen inter-ministerial collaboration and cooperation with the private sector and civil society to achieve development objectives.

The project aims to assist its beneficiary countries in achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The primary focus is Goal 8 “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, especially Target 8.2: Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high value-added and labour-intensive sectors. However, the project also contributes to the achievement of SDG 9 “Build resilient, infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” and SDG 17 “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”.  

The project builds on the ongoing activities of UNCTAD on productive capacities, including the newly developed index to measure or benchmark such capacities in the selected countries as well as the operational manual on issues of developing maintaining and utilizing productive capacities.

The progress and implementation of the project will be monitored through regular progress reports to the Management Unit of the 2030 Agenda Sub-Fund.  In addition, a final external project evaluation is foreseen to be carried out in year 3 of the project’s implementation.


More on the Project


Code du Projet



UNECA, UNIDO and the United Nations Country Teams (UNCTS)


United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund / 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund


Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe




$ 1,070,000


Mr. Mussie Delelegn
Chief, Landlocked Developing Countries Section of the Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes



Landlocked developing countries