Pessimists are concerned that the continent’s cities could become overstressed through rapid, unplanned urbanisation, generating political, economic and environmental upheaval, and overwhelming countries and regions.
The rapid expansion of Africa’s cities over the past decades has meant an increasing demand for infrastructure, service delivery and jobs. At the same time African policy makers, urban planners and researchers are clamouring to find innovative solutions to meet these demands.
According to the Emerging Markets Forum, if current trends continue, four of the world’s megacities will be in Africa by 2050: Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa and the Gauteng city-region. By that time 70% of Africa’s urban growth will be in secondary cities with inadequate sanitation, transport and governance infrastructure, according to the United Nations.