Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

    Each Partner State has gazetted export processing Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ). EPZ and SEZ across the Partner States focus on contributing to building a strong export-led economic development through industrialization. EPZ and SEZ provide a number of specific incentives for investors operating within them, which include fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, including corporate tax holidays, duty and VAT exemptions.

    • Burundi Special Economic Zones together with its Managing Authority were established in Burundi by a Presidential Decree Law to promote exports, provide an enabling environment and attract local and foreigner direct investments. The Burundi SEZ offers a number of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives including reduction or temporary tax exemption.
    • Kenya Export Processing Zones were established in Kenya with an aim of attracting and facilitating export-oriented investments. Kenya’s EPZ provide an attractive and enabling environment as well as a range of fiscal and procedural incentives for such investments. The EPZ is managed by the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), which was established in 1990, by the EPZ Act CAP 517, Laws of Kenya. The Authority’s mandate is to promote and facilitate export oriented investments and to develop an enabling environment for such investments. The EPZ Authority is a State Corporation, under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives. EPZA under the EPZ program offers a range of attractive fiscal, physical and procedural incentives to ensure low cost operations, fast set up and smooth operations for export oriented business.
    • Rwanda Special Economic Zones: Rwanda’s SEZ program is designed to address some of the domestic private sector constraints such as availability of industrial and commercial land, availability and the cost of energy, limited transport linkages, market access and reduced bureaucracy and availability of skills. Designated, serviced land is provided for small and large scale industrial development, as well as reliable, quality infrastructure, competitive fiscal and non-fiscal regulations and streamlined administration procedures.
    • South Sudan Export Processing Zones: South Sudan Investment Authority is responsible for the setting up of export processing zones and special economic zones and this process is still in its infancy.
    • Tanzania Special Economic Zones: The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) in Tanzania is currently responsible for both Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ). EPZA operates under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. EPZA is responsible for steering and implementing government policy on promotion of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Tanzania. Other functions of EPZA include the development of EPZ and SEZ infrastructure, provision of business services to EPZ and SEZ investors and issuing of EPZ and SEZ licenses. Once an investor obtains the EPZ or SEZ licenses, he or she does not require any other license except for highly regulated industries like food and drugs. Free Economic Zones (FEZ) in Zanzibar have been purposely established to attract FDI, specifically targeting labour intensive projects and increasing exports. Companies who set up their business in the FEZ designated areas enjoy simplified customs and other administrative procedures. Zanzibar currently has five free economic zones.
    • Uganda Free Zones: The overall objective for adoption of Free Zones in Uganda is to create an enabling environment aimed at enhancing economic growth and development of export-oriented manufacturing in all sectors of the economy, in order to diversify the country’s economic base, attract foreign direct Investment (FDI), generate employment, increase foreign exchange earnings, enhance technology transfer, skill acquisition/upgrading as well as create backward linkages. The Uganda Free Zones Authority is a corporate body under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. It was established in accordance with the Free Zones Act, 2014 and started operations on 1stSeptember 2014. The Agency is responsible for the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of free zones and to provide for other related matters.