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Between Enclaves and Integration - Chinese and African Special Economic Zones in Sub-Saharan Africa - DFG (2019-2022)

Based on Ethiopian and Zambian case studies, this projects compares and explains how Chinese and domestic/African Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Sub-Saharan Africa contribute to regional development.

This project aims to analyse 1. how and 2. why Special Economic Zones (SEZs) developed by African and Chinese developers in Sub-Saharan Africa contribute to regional development or develop into disintegrated enclaves. The study novelly combines conceptual considerations on enclaves, global production networks (GPN), and policy transfer. Empirically, the study will analyse and compare SEZs of Chinese and domestic African developers and their embedding regions in two different countries, Ethiopia and Zambia.

Research Activities:
Data collection in Zambia helped exploring the case studies of two SEZs, the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (domestic/African development) and the Lusaka East Multi-Facility Economic Zone (Chinese development). A mix of stakeholder workshop, site visits and detailed qualitative interviews with several actors (inside and outside the SEZs) was used. Furthermore, we compare policy documents such as plans and regulations, and media discourses from both countries. We frequently exchange and discuss insights and results with other researchers on that topic and general economic geography in meetings, colloquia and presentations.

Project Head: Prof. Dr. Peter Dannenberg
Investigator: Carolina Kiesel
International partners: Dr. Enock Sakala (University of Zambia), Prof. Dr. Alemayehu Geda (Addis Abeba University)
Funding: DFG GZ: DA 1128/9-1 (Period 2019-2022)


Selection of recent papers:

Dannenberg, P., Kim, Y. & Schiller, D. (2013). Chinese Special Economic Zones in Africa: a new species of globalisation?. African East-Asian Affairs, (2), 4-15. doi: 10.7552/0-2-103.