Nairobi is the second fastest growing city in Africa according to a new report by the African Development Bank (ADB). According to the report, Tracking Africa’s Progress Report released on Tuesday, Africa has 52 cities with populations of 1 million or higher – the same number as for Europe.
Tanzania’s commercial hub Dar es Salaam is listed as the African city that will experience the most growth (85.2%) between 2010 and 2025. Kinshasa (DRC), Luanda (Angola) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) follow respectively.
The report indicates that over the last 20 years, Africa’s population has grown rapidly and in 2011 exceeded the 1 billion mark. It further predicts that globally, Africa will lead population growth over the next 50 years and estimates a population of 2.5 billion people by 2060.
Urbanization, which the report describes as ‘a pan-African phenomenon’, has been cited as a major contributing factor to the growth being witnessed in African cities.
“It is estimated that between 1960 and 2011, Africa’s urban population rose from 19% to 39%. By 2040 it is expected that 50% of Africans will live in urban areas”, reads a section of the report.
The report warns that even with the gains of urbanization, urban areas can also provide serious challenges to government, especially in the supply of food, jobs, housing, sanitation, transport facilities, education, health care and services, including controlling pollution and crime. Well, Nairobi country is a good example.
AFRICA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH
“African economies have sustained unprecedented rates of growth, driven mainly by strong domestic demand, improved macroeconomic management, a growing middle class, and increased political stability”, the report says.
It’s reported that since the start of the new millennium, Africa’s economic real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been rising by 5 per cent a year and real income per capita has increased by 2.1 percent a year. African growth outperformed both Latin America and developed economies over the last 5 years. Africa is now the fourth region in the global economy after overtaking Western Asia.
The report indicates that with a proper improvement in health systems, education policies, and employment opportunities, Africa can rely on her large population for an expanded workforce which the continent can harness and build on to spur economic growth.
Africa’s five top economies, Nigeria, South African, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, make up the largest part of Africa’s GDP, while the smallest economies – Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Burundi – account less than 1% of the Africa’s GDP.
It’s believed that Africa’s natural resources endowment will continue to offer an opportunity for economic growth, if well managed, primarily by financing investment in infrastructure and human capital.