Partnership to advance new sustainable special economic zones in Ethiopia and Kenya

25 2018

COPENHAGEN—20 October—There are more than 5,000 special economic zones in the world, which provide favorable conditions for industries and trade to flourish, only few have been established with an underlying commitment to sustainability. The first summit of the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark from October 19th to 20th. Head of states and government, leaders of international organizations, academics, and representatives of civil society gathered together through innovative partnerships. To form a strong global sustainable growth alliance to explore practical action plans for the “Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G)”. Made in African Initiative (MIAI), as a project partner, was also invited to participate in the summit and to receive the award.


At the first summit of Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), more than 800 representatives from potential partners and experts in related fields across the globe attended the keynote speeches and panel discussion on topics covering water resources, energy, cities, circular economy, food and agriculture industries. Mr. Matt Liu, Executive Director of Made in Africa Initiative participated in discussions on the circular economy and sustainable development and pointed out that “for long-term economic development, the sustainable special economic zones are expected to create tens of thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities in Africa and potentially attract billions of dollars in investment";

The P4G Award Ceremony is to present the “State-of-the-Art Partnership Award” and announce the final six winners for the 2018 P4G Scale-up Partnership. The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, specially congratulated the event; The awards were held at the Royal Danish Concert Hall, the Danish Crown Prince & the Crown Princess, the Ethiopian President, the South Korean President, the Danish Prime Minister, the Dutch Prime Minister, the Vietnamese Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, CEOs of well-known companies, and leaders of civil society organizations have presented their opinion on how to achieve sustainable growth while effectively address cross-cutting issues.


The SSEZ project led by Made in Africa Initiative (MIAI), is one of the six partnerships selected by P4G to receive scale-up funding in 2018 from a global competition that attracted 450 submissions from 80 countries. There will be a new cross-regional cooperation alliance working on this project include LADOL— a developer and operator of a special economic zone in Nigeria,  SYSTEMIQ— an UK based sustainability consultancy, and NIRAS— a Danish Urban Design and Industrial Planning Organization.

“This partnership will demonstrate that industrial and trade zones designed for sustainability is a winning formula for long-term economic growth and public good,” said P4G Global Director Ian de Cruz. “The governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, as P4G partner countries, are committed to supporting innovative public-private partnerships to help them meet both their economic goals but also their sustainable development goals.”

For the next two years, the alliance will explore the feasibility of develop new Sustainable Special Economic Zones (SSEZ) with support from Government of Ethiopia and Kenya by providing a comprehensive turn-key solution. Mr. Matt Liu, Executive Director of MIAI, was invited to attend the ceremony and receive the award from the President of Ethiopia. Ethiopia and Kenya's new SSEZ will achieve sustainable development results such as zero waste discharge, waste-to-energy and high-utilization of resources in industrial parks which will effectively reduce the overall carbon emissions of the SEZ while significantly increasing industrial output;


Made in Africa Initiative has supported manufacturing and international capacity cooperation with over 10 countries in Africa - from Ethiopia, to Cote D'Ivoire and Rwanda. MIAI committed to promoting the economic development of African countries and creating more job opportunities to achieve truly sustainable development. SYSTEMIQ Managing Partner, Martin Stuchtey appreciated the contribution of the MIAI to the process of industrialization in Africa and said “Our concept provides a toolkit and roadmap to create bright spots of sustainable industrialization, hope to have a good partnership with MIAI, that we can then be scaled and replicated both in other zones in Ethiopia and Kenya but also other countries in Africa.”

"China's manufacturing sector offers the opportunity for the rest of the world to capture an estimated relocation of 85 million jobs, and billions of dollars in investment.  African countries need to capture this window of opportunities for their development" said Helen Hai, CEO of Made in Africa Initiative. "We are pleased and excited to win P4G support to help Kenya and Ethiopia do so in a sustainable manner, bolstering their green growth ambitions and setting a benchmark throughout the continent".