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Africa’s Urbanisation

In partnership with KPMG, Dr Lyal White, Director of the Centre for Dynamic Markets, published an article entitled: The Role of Cities in Africa’s Rise. In this featured video, we present the interview between Bruce Whitfield and Dr White, in which they discuss the rise and complexity of cities in Africa.

Rapid growth of African cities

In a number of previous articles, we have made mention of the rapid urbanisation trend occurring across Africa. With a population of one billion and an economy likely to double in size from US$2 trillion to US$4 trillion before 2025, Africa has quickly emerged as the next economic driver for the global economy.

KPMG Head of Global Infrastructure and Projects Group in Africa, DeBuys Scott, notes:

Close to three quarters of African people will be living in African cities by 2050. African cities and megacities already have a larger population than all of Europe”.

Urbanisation: a fact of life globally

Opening the interview, Bruce Whitfield notes that, globally, urbanisation is a fact of life.  He makes mention of the fact that increasingly people are moving into urban areas in pursuit of economic opportunities and better living. Very few of those moving to the cities realise this city-living “dream” due the realities of overcrowding and numerous slums.

Dr Lyal White has done extensive work on cities across the continent; he is on the faculty of Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).  White notes that the development and growth of cities in Africa is a huge phenomenon – especially in the context of, what he refers to as, the “Africa development story”.

A double-edged sword

White makes mention of the fact that there are a number of pros and cons associated with the growth of cities in Africa. To a large extent, he feels that it is a “double-edged sword”. The positives noted in the interview include the modernisation, connectedness, and openness that cities bring, while the enormous demand on resource, infrastructure and service delivery present additional challenges.

Watch the interview above for insight into Africa’s urbanization…

David Okwara

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