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Land Tenure

CTFD Webinar – Special Economic Zones: Global Trends and Issues in Senegal and Madagascar

The Technical Committee Land Tenure & Development (CTFD) is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (Paris time) on the topic of special economic zones: global trends and issues in Senegal and Madagascar.


Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are geographically defined areas within a country’s borders where the rules for doing business are different from those prevailing in the national territory. Proposed as a model for economic development by a wide range of actors from China to the World Bank, the approach has been developed in a hundred countries. The main objectives of these zones are to attract investors through advantageous customs and tax regimes, a skilled and competitive workforce, and facilitated settlement conditions. In this regard, they are supposed to offer legally secure and conflict-free access to land. While many studies of SEZs focus on their economic performance, the creation and operation of SEZs can also have significant impacts on land rights-a topic that has been less systematically examined, and which raises broader questions about territorial governance, rights, and economic development models.

The Technical Committee Land and Development (CTFD) has launched a study on SEZs and land. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) led the project in partnership with Enda Pronat and the Cadre de Réflexion et d’Action sur le Foncier au Sénégal (CRAFS); and CIRAD with input from the Collectif Tany de Madagascar, in close collaboration with GRET, which provides the secretariat for the CTFD.

The results of the project are presented in three reports on ‘Special Economic Zones and Land Tenure: Global Trends and Local Implications in Senegal and Madagascar’; ‘Investment Zones in Madagascar: Characteristics and Land Tenure Implications’; and ‘Thematic Workshop on Special Economic Zones in Senegal’. The reports will be released prior to the webinar.

During the webinar, experts will present the results of the international review on SEZs. They will report on the results in Senegal and Madagascar and how the study has advanced the debate in these two countries.

The webinar will include an introduction to the event and its theme, as well as the panelists’ presentations, and will be followed by a moderated discussion among webinar participants. The webinar is designed for civil society organizations, NGOs, the private sector, development agencies and governments.


  • Amel Benkahla, program manager at GRET in charge of the scientific coordination of the “Land Tenure and Development” technical committee
  • Matthieu Le Grix, head of the agriculture, rural development and biodiversity division at the French Development Agency (AFD)
  • Dr Lorenzo Cotula/Thierry Berger, respectively Senior Researcher and Associate at IIED, Law, Economics and Justice Program
  • Dr Perrine Burnod/Heriniaina Rakotomalala, respectively researcher at CIRAD; and land expert and PhD student at the Institute of Agro of Montpellier and the University of Antananarivo
  • Dr Alpha Ba, research professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Agriculture (ENSA), Université de Thiès
  • Mamy Rakotondrainibe, president of the Collective for the Defense of Malagasy Land (TANY)
  • Pape Faye, founding member of the collective for the defense of the interests of communities affected by the Sandiara SEZ, Senegal


Registration required here

For more information

21 September 2022