Development Corridors Partnership


The issue

Development corridors are increasingly used to support economic growth in Africa. They can enhance national infrastructure, boost agriculture, increase exports and improve economic integration. However, development at this scale presents both social and environmental challenges. Corridors can result in uneven development impacts, further marginalise the poor, threaten biodiversity and be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Project goals

The Development Corridors Partnership, led by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is helping countries in East Africa to plan for a sustainable future.

The project will use a capacity-building approach to analyse proposed development corridors in Kenya and Tanzania and consider how they can be designed to deliver sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic growth.

Initial corridors are the Lamu Port and Lamu – Southern Sudan – Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET Kenya) and the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). Further corridors are likely to be considered by the project, including the corridor being created by building the Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, and two development corridors in Uganda.

The project has three main objectives:

  • Capacity building including training for researchers and institutions in East Africa, UK and China to build a group of experienced and knowledgeable practitioners that will be able to support more sustainable land use and investment planning in East Africa and beyond.
  • Cross-disciplinary research to enhance the relevance and quality of research on development corridors. The project will link the research done in eastern Africa to the work of Chinese research institutions who advise on Chinese development spending in Africa. By increasing knowledge of the issues and opportunities associated with development corridors in Africa, investment activities can be designed to be more socially and environmentally sustainable.
  • New and existing research will be shared with a range of decision makers involved in development corridor planning including government, private sector actors, Chinese investors and lending agencies. This will ensure those involved in planning and implementing corridor visions can make evidence-based and informed decisions.  

Working with WCMC, the Luc Hoffmann Institute will contribute expertise on convening, research design and mapping policy pathways, aiming to accelerate the outcomes and influence of the research. The overall goal is to maximise the project’s potential impact on policy making for sustainable socio-economic development in East Africa and capitalise on this critical moment for the future of conservation and society in the region. 

For more information contact:

Melanie Ryan, Senior Programme Manager at

Luc Hoffmann InstituteDevelopment Corridors Partnership