Special Economic Zones: Launch of the work of the African Union Symposium

The work of the African Union symposium on special economic zones and green industrialization and the annual meeting of the African Economic Zones Organization (AEZO) opened on Thursday in Abuja with a desire to benefit from the ZLEAF.

“We are ready to partner with the special economic zones in Africa to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ZLECAF)”, declared the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, at the opening of this symposium.

Buhari also commended the AEZO for bringing together free zone operators on the continent, saying “this will enhance intra-African trade and promote valuation among operators.”

Organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and AEZO, this dual event is being held from December 1 to 2 under the theme “African Special Economic Zones: Engine of Resilience and Accelerator of Sustainable Development of Industrial Value Chains”. .

“High performing industrial clusters in Africa, such as special economic zones, can help member states and regional economic communities move from dependence on commodity exports, which makes them vulnerable to exogenous shocks, to a new era of industrial development”, declared for his part the Minister of Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnership of Gabon, Hugues Mbadinga Madiya, explaining that this transformative, highly competitive, inclusive, sustainable development, will be “fully integrated into the chains of regional, continental and global value”.

This year’s edition paved the way for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Special Economic Zones regime in Nigeria. The opening ceremony was presided over by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana, the AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Albert Muchanga, and AEZO Secretary General, Ahmed Bennis.

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