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Africa's Urbanisation Dynamics 2020

Africapolis, Mapping a New Urban Geography

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Africa is projected to have the fastest urban growth rate in the world: by 2050, Africa’s cities will be home to an additional 950 million people. Much of this growth is taking place in small and medium-sized towns. Africa’s urban transition offers great opportunities but it also poses significant challenges. Urban agglomerations are developing most often without the benefit of policies or investments able to meet these challenges. Urban planning and management are therefore key development issues. Understanding urbanisation, its drivers, dynamics and impacts is essential for designing targeted, inclusive and forward-looking policies at local, national and continental levels. This report, based on the Africapolis geo-spatial database (www.africapolis.org) covering 7 600 urban agglomerations in 50 African countries, provides detailed analyses of major African urbanisation dynamics placed within historical, environmental and political contexts. Covering the entire distribution of the urban network — from small towns and secondary cities to large metropolitan regions — it develops more inclusive and targeted policy options that integrate local, national and regional scales of urban development in line with African realities.

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