Africa’s population is projected to double over the next generation to more than two billion people. Free trade zones offer some possibilities for the continent’s governments to create the jobs necessary to meet the aspirations of their youthful populations. Success is not only dependent on cheap labour, though this helps.
To ensure these zones are more than just sweatshops, Ethiopia and Morocco show that the full package of policy aspects has to be addressed, including: political stability, free trade deals, logistics to and through ports, integrated value chains, and tax and other incentives. Crucially, if countries are to quickly to move up the industrial ladder enabling higher incomes, then improving skills is a crucial component.
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