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Mega trends and African urbanisation

Mega trends and African urbanisation

Aug 5, 2014

By Kathy Gibson at #UIA2014Durban

There are new mega trends facing Africa as it goes into a new round of rapid urbanisation. Gillian Adendorff, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, points out that Africa will have a population of 1,95-billion by 2050 and probably 4,1-billion by 2100.

This argues that without planning, the continent will run into massive problems.

In terms of regional growth, southern Africa will see very little development, while west Africa will move quickly. Africa will also have the biggest group of working age people in the world by 2040. By 2024, Lagos will have the largest population of any city in Africa, at 15,8-million, followed by Kinshasa at 15-million and then Cairo at 13,5-million.

South Africa is no longer the strongest country on the continent, with Nigeria now leading in terms of economy. The mega corridors on the continent circle Nigeria, run down the west coast to South Africa and up the east coast. Mega slums are also rising on the continent, with sub-Saharan Africa set to  have among the biggest slum areas in the world. These major slums are expected to be in Lagos, with 75% of the population set to live in informal settlements.

Chad and Ethiopia will have 99% of their people living in slums. South Africa is also on the map, with slums in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

New mega regions are emerging, with Cairo at 17,6-million people, 25-million in Lagos and 7,6-million potentially making up a Johannesburg/Pretoria region.

By 2050, 60% of the African population will be urbanised by 2050, at an average growth rate of 3,4%.

In terms of GDP, by 2020 sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $3,5-trillion today to $5-trillion. This will be driven be rapid growth, on par with other emerging economies.

In South Africa we are doing very well in terms of development compared to the rest of Africa, and there are huge opportunities in the rest of Africa. “West Africa is areas of growth, of potential, in Africa,” Adendorff says.

There is a need for collaboration among all the stakeholders in order to achieve the modern, smart cities of the future, she adds.
The new urban agenda is to build sustainable cities, pay attention to urban form and management; look closely at energy; new and improved engineering; new partnerships, leadership, smarter financing and policies; and effective communicate between sectors and professionals in the country and the region.

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