China in Africa: Phoenix nests versus Special Economic Zones

China in Africa: Phoenix nests versus Special Economic Zones
Thierry Pairault
C.C.J. Occasional Papers n°7, December 2018  [2019]

 Abstract:

Many articles and studies proclaim special economic zones (SEZ) as the solution for boosting Africa’s development. This Occasional Paper will not discuss the accuracy of this vision. It will focus only on the question of whether the Overseas Economic and Commercial Cooperation Zones (OECCZ) model that China is proposing to African countries – as well as countries along the New Silk Roads – matches the definition of a SEZ as understood by Chinese researchers and commentators themselves. At this stage of research, the most accurate answer seems to be provided by Lin Yifu, who said that establishing an OECCZ is above all “building a nest to accommodate the Phoenix” [筑巢引凤 zhu chao yin feng] – i.e. China – without much consideration for the host countries’ needs.

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