KCG Working Paper No. 26: Special Economic Zones in Ghana: A Case Study of Enclaves in Tema, Dawa and Sekondi
Authors: Vera Acheampong, Nana Yaw Agyeman Owusu and Nina Kupzig
Many countries introduced concepts related to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to promote export-led economic growth. However, the concepts and implementation of SEZs vastly differ, resulting in large differences between and within countries. Therefore, this study seeks to assess the current state of Ghana’s Special Economic Zones while identifying challenges to SEZ enclave development in Ghana. For this, three main enclaves are considered: Tema Export Processing Zone, the Dawa Industrial Park, and the Export Processing Zone in Sekondi. Drawing on semi-structured in-depth interviews with five officials from the Ghana Free Trade Authorities and site visits, the study conducts a three-step multi-dimensional comparative analysis. The study finds the presence of enclave-specific challenges relating to land and development issues, inadequate accessibility, and the Covid-19 pandemic to be key in explaining the low occupation of the enclaves. Further, implementation challenges relating to rent collection, political changes, and the absence of a common definition make it difficult to promote Ghana’s SEZs adequately.