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Urbanization in Africa: Trends, Regional Specificities, and Challenges

  • François Paul Yatta
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences book series (AGES)

Abstract

Africa is the last continent to experience its “urban transition,” shifting from predominantly rural to predominantly urban. This exceptional pace of urbanization is nourished by the great population explosion, a real reservoir of urban growth. As the urban population will be multiplied by 14 in Asia, 10 in Latin America, 4 in North America, 5 in Oceania, and by 2 in Europe during the period 1950–2050, the African urban population will be multiplied by 42, implying much greater efforts particularly in terms of population investments. The urban hierarchy is dominated by three big cities with more than 10 million people, one in each region except East Africa and Southern Africa: Cairo (17.7 million inhabitants), Lagos (13,120,000 inhabitants), and Kinshasa (11,580,000 inhabitants). Cities hosting between five and ten million people are four. Cities hosting between one and five million people are 49. The weight of African cities in global competition goes beyond their demographic weight and questions their impact on economic activity in general; other prerequisites are required to play an important role in the globalized competition. The challenges facing urban transition are numerous, but the most important ones are related to the scale of induced investments, to climate change, and to the quality of the institutional environment that is favorable or not to cities.

Keywords

Urbanization Africa Urban transition City trajectories Urban policies 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Paul Yatta
    • 1
  1. 1.United Cities and Local Governments of AfricaRabatMorocco

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