Nigeria case

Nigeria: Leveraging Special Economic Zones to Capture the Window of Opportunity for Structural Transformation

From the perspective of Made in Africa Initiative (MIAI), the best way to achieve dynamic, inclusive and sustainable growth in a country or a state is for the country to develop its industries according to the comparative advantage determined by its endowments in a market economy. Nigeria has different factor endowments than competitor countries. With a population of 178.5 million and a GDP of USD 565 billion, Nigeria is the biggest economy as well as the biggest oil exporter with the largest oil and natural gas reserves in Africa. During the past decade, it has registered strong economic growth averaging 6.5%. Nevertheless, manufacturing value added as a percentage of GDP only accounted for less than 10% in Nigeria, far below the average performance of developing countries at the rate of 20%. To absorb its growing workforce, Nigeria has to accelerate its industrialization process to create productive jobs and promote export by effectively leveraging special economic zones (SEZs). 

According to Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), Nigeria needs to tackle the issues on infrastructure, business environment, job creation and youth unemployment, to boost its economy via revival of industrialization and achieve economic transformation. The ERGP seeks to improve this performance and double manufacturing's share of GDP, largely by developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to attract manufacturing away from economies where the labor cost advantage is declining and re-energize local industries that have suffered as a result of, e.g., the influx and dumping of goods in Nigeria. The focus will be on priority sectors to generate jobs, promote exports, boost growth and upgrade skills to create 1.5 million jobs by 2020.

Invited by NEPZA (Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority), Made in Africa Initiative (MIAI) and Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University
 (CNSE) formed a joint team, to embark on the project of leveraging Special Economic Zones to Capture the Window of Opportunity for Structural Transformation, to help Nigeria truly seize the window of opportunity for industrialization arising from the relocation of light manufacturing from China to realize its potential for sustainable industrialization, shared prosperity and job growth, combining research with action in an effort to deliver concrete outcomes on the ground. The team is lead by Ms. Athena YU, Co-Founder of MIAI.

As a professional NGO engaged in promoting economic cooperation between China and Africa, MIAI supplies an individual third party view of comprehensive planning and implementation plan to this project.