African Urban Futures
This paper frames the future of Africa’s urban transition and looks at continental and regional long-term futures, the drivers of urbanization and the relationship between urbanization and economic development. The continent’s current and emerging megacities are identified and likely population numbers are forecasted for Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Luanda and Dar es Salaam over the coming decades. Key urban challenges are then discussed for these cities and respective countries, with a focus on exclusion, inequality and urban violence, and points to potential pathways to more sustainable urban futures for Africa. The majority of Africa’s urban population do not live in a megacity, but rather in smaller cities and towns. Yet, most of Africa’s largest cities are home to a significant share of the national population. They are likely to absorb most of the additional urban residents in the future and are key to the performance of national economies.