IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this book

Special Economic Zones in Africa : Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experience


  • Thomas Farole


Economic zones have grown rapidly in the past 20 years. In 1986, the International Labor Organization's (ILO's) database reported 176 zones in 47 countries; by 2006, it reported 3,500 zones in 130 countries. This huge growth occurred despite many zones having failed to meet their objectives; however, many others are contributing significantly to growth in foreign direct investment (FDI), exports, and employment, as well as playing a catalytic role in integration into global trade and structural transformation, including industrialization and upgrading. This study aims to address some of these questions and deliver an analysis that is both data-driven and policy-focused. The objective of the study is to explore the experience of zone programs, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, to understand the factors that contribute to static and dynamic outcomes. It aims to provide input to the question of whether and how zones can make a significant contribution to job creation, diversification, and sustainable growth in African and other low-income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Farole, 2011. "Special Economic Zones in Africa : Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2268, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2268

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2268. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Breineder) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Thomas Breineder to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.