Social Enterprise Special Economic Zone in Monrovia, Liberia

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Social Enterprise Special Economic Zone in Monrovia, Liberia

The Social Enterprise Special Economic Zone Program (SESEZ) is being developed to address the social and economic development obstacles caused by the civil conflict and recent Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

The purpose of a Social Enterprise Special Economic Zone is to link FDI to the country benefitting the local population while simultaneously shielding against exogenous and endogenous shocks. The SESEZ proposal is framed within national legislation drafts. This legislation implements the government’s focus on generating inclusive growth in Liberia.

Scoping mission
During the scoping mission SPcitI studied the opportunities for impact and met all stakeholders. The team defined six success factors as leading to great impact:

  1. energy provision
  2. internet connection
  3. transport and logistics
  4. a one-stop-shop for business establishment and regulatory procedures
  5. public space and shared infrastructure
  6. public-private partnerships.

Model for future economic zones
For the masterplan, the team first conducted an extensive background and context analysis, focusing on recent national developments (war, ebola), legislation, infrastructural settings, economic activity etc. The SESEZ program can potentially become a model for future economic zones in the region, seen as a pilot for incubating policy changes, establishing new paradigms, generating economic and social growth on multiple scales, from local to regional across different value chains.

While in Monrovia, the SPcitI met one to one with all stakeholders. The platform for the SESEZ is thus already set up. Participants will be guided to formulate “collective ambitions and conditions” and a list of “first concrete steps” for implementation. These results will be processed into a Development Strategy: an innovative kind of Masterplan that is based on a more integral - and thus resilient – approach than conventional urban planning.

Core activities
The core activities of the Monrovia SESEZ will be elementary infrastructure for the city such as a bio mass power plant linked to agri-food and related business.

Looking for
All foreign companies that are interested in a sustainable economic cycle with the local community and enhance local capacity building are welcome.

Partner in this project:
Spark Liberia

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