Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 860–874 | Cite as

Applicability and prospect of China’s development zone model in Africa

  • Xingping WangEmail author
  • Kai Zhu
  • Yingcheng Li
  • Jiabo Xu


Development zones have been an important spatial approach to promoting economic development since China’s reform and opening-up. They have also been major contributors to the processes of China’s industrialization and urbanization. Along with improvements in the worldwide industrial division of labor and the gradual implementation of China’s development zones’ Go Global strategy, it is necessary for Africa, a hot spot of global industrialization in recent years, to learn from China’s development zone model. By attracting China’s capital, technology and enterprises to Africa via Sino-African co-built development zones, a pattern of high complementarity and mutual development between China and Africa can be formed which does favor further improvement of the global industrial division of labor. In order to study the applicability and prospect of China’s development zone model in Africa as per the above-mentioned international situation, this paper first sorts out the development course of China’s development zones and discusses their roles in China’s industrialization and urbanization. Subsequently, this paper analyzes the status quo of industrial development in Africa as a whole and the differences in industrial development between China and Africa, aiming to justify the timing of industrial transfer from China to Africa by constructing Sino-African co-built development zones. Lastly, this paper analyzes the current situation of six Sino-African co-built development zones by focusing on their operation modes, industry types and investment promotion models. In the authors’ view, Sino-African co-built development zones can function as a new window of China-African cooperation, a new carrier of African industrialization, and a new engine of global industrial restructuring. China should adhere to the general principles of ‘Sino-African Integration, Multi-Cooperation, Mutual Benefit, Scientific Location, Systematic Planning, Cluster Growth and Open Development’ in the planning and construction of development zones in Africa, effectively promoting Africa as the very important part of the global industry system.


development zones China Africa industrialization 


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We hereby certify that the paper has been funded by Southeast University Town and Country Planning Provincial Advantage Discipline.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingping Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kai Zhu
    • 2
  • Yingcheng Li
    • 1
  • Jiabo Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ArchitectureSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina

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