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West African Papers

The West African Papers series explores African socio-economic, political and security dynamics from a regional and multidisciplinary perspective. It seeks to stimulate discussion and gather information to better anticipate the changes that will shape future policies. The series is designed for a wide audience of specialists, development practitioners, decision makers and the informed public. Papers are available in English and/or French, and summaries are available in both languages. Initiated by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) to highlight and promote West African issues, the work presented is prepared by its Secretariat, Members and partners, other OECD departments, related international organisations, associated experts and researchers.

English French

Population and Morphology of Border Cities

This report, part of the “Cities” collection, provides an analysis of the demographic and morphological changes in West African border cities since the mid-20th century. Using the Africapolis harmonised database makes it possible to show that since 1950 border cities have experienced higher rates of growth than other cities in the region. While the average size of cities increases with distance from a border, the opposite is true for urban density; it decreases as distance from a border increases. This suggests that border cities form urban centres that differ from other such centres due to the fact that they specialise in the commercial activities that stimulate growth and foster higher densities. The report identifies the 27 main cross-border agglomerations in the region and discusses their specific

characteristics.

Also in this Collection:

“Regional Integration in Border Cities”, No. 20

“Businesses and Health in Border Cities”, No. 22

“Accessibility and Infrastructure in Border Cities”, No. 23

English French

Keywords: urban density, cross-border agglomerations, demography, Africapolis, morphology
JEL: O21: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Planning Models; Planning Policy; O18: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure; F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; F10: International Economics / Trade / Trade: General
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