(HN, November 25, 2010) - Incredible urban growth and population migration will swell the size of major African cities - in some cases tripling their size over the next 40 years.
According to a new report by UN Habitat, The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequality and Urban Land Markets, urbanization is occurring faster on the African continent than anywhere else, and that by 2030, the Africa will no longer be predominantly rural.
“No African government can afford to ignore the ongoing rapid urban transition taking place across the continent. Cities must become priority areas for public policies, with hugely increased investments to build adequate governance capacities, equitable services delivery, affordable housing provision and better wealth distribution,” said Joan Clos, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT.
The report also found that:
- By 2015, Lagos will be Africa's largest city with 12.4 million people - overtaking Cairo (however Cairo is said to have an unofficial population as high as 17 million at times)
- Luanda has recently surpassed Alexandria and is now Africa’s fourth largest agglomeration. It is projected to grow to more than 8 million by 2040.
- Africa's population will be 1.23 billion by 2050
- Slum dwellers in Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia decreased to 11.8 million in 2010, from 20.8 million in 1990.
- Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is becoming the fastest-growing city in Africa: its population will almost double over the next decade.
- 70 per cent of all African urban population growth will be in smaller cities and those with populations of less than half a million.
- Projected proportional growth for the 2010−2020 for some cities defies belief: Ouagadougou’s (Burkina Faso) population is expected to soar by no less than 81 per cent, from 1.9 million in 2010 to 3.4 million in 2020.
The report also noted that, since many large cities (such as Lagos and Alexandria) are situated by the sea, climate change and coastal flooding may erode their size.
- HUMNEWS staff, UN