UNOSSC Facilitates Exchange on Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks between Ghana and China

By May 16, 2024 May 16, 2024 Cities Clusters - Agriculture, Cities Project, News

On 13 May 2024, the Cities Project of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) hosted an online exchange on Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and industrial parks between China and Ghana. The event brought together over 25 representatives from UN WOMEN, FAO, research institutes, national government, and the private sector.

The UNOSSC Cities Project team has held several South-South exchanges engaging Ghanaian stakeholders, covering topics such as the creative industry, logistics, and agro-industrial parks. As Ghana’s main growth sectors are agriculture and fisheries, the development of agro-industrial parks in Ghana have the potential to attract investment, create jobs, boost manufacturing production, increase exports of processed goods, and promote much-needed industrial and economic diversification and regional value chains development.

At the opening, Ms. Afua Ansre, Senior Gender Specialist of UN WOMEN, highlighted recent collaboration with UNOSSC on the pilot project “Women’s Economic Empowerment, Resilience, and Entrepreneurship in the Green Economy” in Ghana. The programme aims to support women smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in both rural and urban settings by improving their access to diversified and high-value chains and markets. The focus is on agribusiness, with special emphasis on integrating the green and digital economies.

Ms. Ansre expressed hope that this meeting between China and Ghana would foster further South-South cooperation in the agriculture sector, creating jobs and promoting gender equality in Ghana.

Representatives from the Nanjing National Agricultural High-tech Zone (NNAHtZ) introduced their development strategies for agricultural parks. These strategies include strengthening agro-industrial linkages, facilitating investment project exchanges, demonstrating technology services, and co-constructing training platforms. The High-tech Zone benefits from a robust talent pool from academia and research institutes, supporting capacity-building projects.

Ghana has a high demand for innovative products and services. Experts from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana showcased their key infrastructure, research facilities, and strengths in agriculture and food security. Representatives from the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) introduced the Economic Enclaves Project (EEP), which aims to create eco-industrial enclaves or parks to catalyze food production and processing, manufacturing, ICT, and related economic activities.

During the discussion, experts from China introduced their experiences in reducing produce losses and using e-commerce platforms for business model development in Southern countries. Representatives from Ghana expressed the private sector’s interest in involvement through Public-Private Partnerships.

The two sides also discussed a potential framework under South-South cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aiming to build synergies and share experiences for future knowledge and skills transfer to enhance innovation, productivity, and economic growth.

About South-South Cities Clusters

The UNOSSC Cities Project seeks to promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the city and local levels. The South-South Cities Clusters are part of the South-South Galaxy virtual platform that facilitates information sharing, knowledge exchange, networking, and project collaboration among cities, local authorities, UN agencies, and other development partners. Currently, it offers interactive thematic spaces on:

  • COVID-19 Response and Public Health
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in Resilient Cities
  • Sustainable Tourism, Heritage Protection and Creative Economy
  • Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development
  • E-Commerce, Digitization and Smart Cities
  • Sustainable Transport and Air Quality
  • Waste Management, Green Cities and Renewable Energy