Tanzania spent years trying to attract foreign investment using Special Economic Zones (SEZs). In theory, SEZ’s create special spaces within the economy where there is a greater ease of doing business. These zones are supposed to spur export activity, facilitate economic dynamism, and promote job growth. Despite significant efforts, the country’s initial attempts have failed to yield the desired results due to confusing regulations and little consultation with the private sector. A new leader is brought in to design and implement a new strategy for Special Economic Zones. The strategy must placate different stakeholders, allay the concerns of business, create new jobs, and make the economy more dynamic in the process. The case focuses on inherent tensions and challenges associated with SEZs.
Case studies are integral teaching tools for the Leadership Academy for Development workshops conducted around the world.