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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the genesis and development trajectories of Chinese cooperation zones in Africa since 2006, focusing on their impacts on the broad structural transformation of host countries. In spite of the ambitious plans and high expectations, all the China–Africa cooperation zones faced serious delays and challenges in the fields of infrastructure construction, skill transfer, linkage to local enterprises, sector upgrading, policy influence, and the urbanization process. This chapter argues that the challenges mainly originated from the diverging targets of Chinese developers and African authorities. Unlike in China, the commercial interests of the zone developers in Africa are not appropriately aligned with the local authorities’ broad interest in transformation. To overcome the obstacles, both Chinese and African partners have sought to modify their collaboration patterns. Ethiopia, together with several other countries, has taken particular initiatives to develop its industrial zones after observing practice in cooperation zones.

Keywords: China, Africa, structural transformation, cooperation zones, policy learning, urbanization, business model

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