One of the consistent themes emerging at the 7th Africities Summit has been the urbanisation taking place in Africa and the impact it will have on the citizens of cities and the ability of local authorities to deliver services.
Just how dramatic the shift to urbanisation is in Africa, is explained in a document issued by the Social Policy Division (SDPD) of the UN Economic Commission for Africa based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Key statistics provided by the UN show that:
- The urban growth rate in Africa ( 4.5% per annum), is the highest in the world;
- The 1.5% rate of urbanisation in Africa is second only to that of Asia;
- At least 40% of African’s live in an urban environment, a massive increase when compared to the 8% a short 100 years ago;
- By 2035, fully 50% of the continent’s population will live in cities;
- At least 867 million people will be added to Africa’s urban population over the next 35 years;
- By 2050,the population of people living in Africa’s urban areas will rise to 1.33 billion;
- As the world’s population increases, 90% of this growth( by the year 2050) will take place in the urban areas of Africa and Asia;
- Sixty-three percent of Africa’s urban population presently live in cities that have less than 1 000 000 inhabitants;
- Eighteen countries on the continent are already more than 50% ‘urbanised’; and
- Fully 55% of Africa’s GDP is derived from cities.