Association of economic zones backs African industrialization
The Africa Free Zones Organisation's annual meeting discussed the contribution of economic zones to job creation and Foreign Direct Investment, effective governance of the zones, and importance of competitiveness.
The 4th Annual Meeting of the Africa Free Zones Organisation (AFZO), which held on Tuesday at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, brought together international and financial institutions, government officials, various professionals and 60 African economic zones. According to a statement released today, the meeting discussed the contribution of economic zones to job creation and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), effective governance model of the zones, importance of competitiveness, among other topics.
Founded in November 2015, AFZO is an association of leading African economic zones, free zones and institutions in charge of the development, management and promotion of economic zones and free zones in Africa. The organisation currently has over 72 members represented from 37 African countries.
The theme of the 2019 AFZO Annual Meeting was, "Economic Zones – Accelerator for Industrialization in Africa." The meeting was held during the Africa Industrialization Week, holding between November 18-22 at the AU headquarters.
The opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting was co-chaired by African Union Commission Trade and Industry Commissioner, Albert Muchanga; Ethiopian Minister of Transport, Dagmawit Moges; and AFZO President, Mehdi Tazi Riffi. Other participants were representatives from international and financial institutions such as United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Development Bank (AfDB), etc.
“Over 220 delegates representing 43 countries attended this important event, including 60 African economic zones, 30 experts, as well as several representatives of governmental authorities, international institutions and public and private organizations,” AFZO said in its statement.
Among the objectives of AFZO is enhancement and improvement of economic zones’ attractiveness. The association also supports African economic zones and free zones go-to-market initiatives and stimulates industrial investment. As part of its objective to contribute to the development of knowledge-driven marketing and communication strategies, AFZO has established a Knowledge Center that will provide reports and studies on the economic zones as well as an interactive exchange platform to facilitate the sharing of documentation and best practices.
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