Webinar on global value chains and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement

03 February 2022
11:00 - 12:15 hrs.

What prospects and challenges for SEZs?

As part of the technical cooperation events organized for the dissemination of The Handbook on Special Economic Zones in Africa: Towards Economic Diversification across the Continent, a series of webinars will be organized during the first quarter of 2022. The webinars aim to bring together a diverse audience of stakeholders involved with SEZs’ issues and planning from Africa, and panel discussions including experts, policymakers and practitioners.

The Handbook, developed by UNCTAD in partnership with German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), examines trends in African SEZs, scrutinizes best practices, policy recommendations, and serves as a foundation for technical cooperation in the development of sound policy guidelines for the development of more effective, resilient and sustainable SEZs in Africa. The Handbook makes particular emphasis on providing policy guidelines to support SEZs to adjust to the new trade and investment environment in Africa after the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In addition, it delivers recommendations aimed at enabling SEZs and SEZ programmes to adjust proactively to current and future changes in global value chains and investment patterns.

Webinar agenda

General introduction and welcoming remarks (10 min)

  • Mr. Richard Bolwijn | Head, Investment Research Branch, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
  • Mr. Jan Miksch | Component Lead, Programme Support to the AfCFTA, GIZ African Union Office

SEZs in Africa: Best practices and prospects in the context of the AfCFTA (20 min)

  • Prof. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose | Princesa de Asturias Professor & Professor of Economic Geography; Director, Cañada Blanch Centre

Panel Discussion (35 min)

Moderator: Ms. Amelia U. Santos-Paulino | Chief, Investment Issues and Analysis Section, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

  • Mr. Ahmed Bennis | Secretary General, Africa Economic Zones Organization
  • Mr. Mohamed Ali | Director, Trade in Goods and Competition, AfCFTA Secretariat
  • Mr. António Henriques Da Silva | Chairman, the Board of Directors, Zona Económica Especial Luanda-Bengo Angola
  • Ms. Anna Twum | Country Economist, Researcher, Rwanda Team, International Growth Center
  • Prof. Lawrence Edwards | Professor, School of Economics, University of Cape Town

Q&A (10 min)

Concluding remarks


Handbook on SEZ in Africa Webinar


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African Union, German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ)

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