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The eastern industrial zone in Ethiopia: catalyst for development?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 21/11/19)


Philip Giannecchini, Ian Taylor

School/Research organisations


In 2000, China agreed to share with African countries its experience in the field of investment promotion relating to the establishment and management of special economic zones. The Eastern Industry Zone was subsequently established. Of the various zones being built in Africa, Ethiopia's perhaps represents one of the biggest challenges to both the Chinese developers and the host government alike. Utilising insights from evolutionary economic geography and the work of Albert Hirschman, this article seeks to analyse the progress thus far in the Ethiopian SEZ. Spatially discrete, unfocused in terms of clustering and with few linkages to the wider economy, what impact, if any, the development of this zone will have on Ethiopia's structural transformation is discussed. The implications for Ethiopia's wider investment in industrial parks as part of its developmental state project is also drawn out.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
Early online date21 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • China, Ethiopia, Special economic zones, Evolutionary economic geography, Clusters

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