Africa’s cities are experiencing a population boom. Some of them are growing at unheard of rates. Take a look at the ten fastest-growing cities in Africa and find out why they are expanding so quickly.
1. Luanda, Angola
No African metropolis is growing faster than Angola’s capital, Luanda. According to United Nations data, more than 7.7 million people live there. The average age of Luandans is 20.6 years. The capital is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But only Angola’s elites have benefitted from the country’s large oil reserves. Angola is marked by deep social inequality.
2. Yaounde, Cameroon
With 3.6 million inhabitants, Cameroon’s capital is much smaller than the front-runner Luanda. Public services and diplomatic representations are mostly concentrated here. This is why Yaounde enjoys a higher standard of living and security than the rest of Cameroon. It is also a central transfer point for wares such as coffee, cocoa, tobacco and rubber.
3. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The population of Tanzania’s commercial capital has increased more than sixfold since 1978. Dar es Salaam, with over six million inhabitants, is the largest city in East Africa. It is an important economic and trade center for the region. New settlements are growing mainly along the business districts. From 2000 to 2018, the population grew by 166%.
4. Kumasi, Ghana
The population of the Ghanaian city of Kumasi increased elevenfold to three million between 1970 and 2017. It surpassed the number of people living in the capital Accra in 2014 to become the largest city in the country. Ghana’s population is growing rapidly, especially in cities like Kumasi. The economic metropolis attracts many people from the north of the country.
5. Kampala, Uganda
Kampala, Uganda’s main capital city, lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. The total population of the region has more than doubled since the beginning of the 21st century. Many people from the hinterland are moving to the towns. Kampala has one of the highest growth rates worldwide. More than 40 million people are expected to live in the city by 2100.
6. Lusaka, Zambia
Lusaka is the economic and political hub of Zambia and has experienced a demographic boom in recent years. The city center around Independence Avenue and Cairo Road is characterized by commercial buildings, insurance companies, banks, stock exchanges, hotels and American fast food chains. The industrial sector, transport and crafts also play an important role.
7. Douala, Cameroon
Cameroon’s biggest city is also among the top ten. Douala is home to Central Africa’s largest port, which is vital for the country’s economy and the entire Central African Economic and Monetary Community. It surpasses the capital in importance as a financial, industrial, commercial and cultural center, as well as Cameroon’s traffic hub.
8. Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of Congo
There is probably no other place in the world with so many diamonds as Mbuji-Mayi. Diamond buyers in the Congolese city paint their facades with bright and beautiful images to attract the miners. The city had only 30,000 inhabitants in 1960. By 2018, the city has 2.3 million inhabitants. Massive immigration from neighboring areas has dramatically increased the population.
9. Antananarivo, Madagascar
Antananarivo is the largest city and capital of the island state of Madagascar. Most tourists enter and leave the country through the capital’s airport. Apart from a period of disease and wars in the 18th century, the city’s population has grown steadily. Much of this growth is due to rural depopulation.
10. Pretoria, South Africa
Last but not least in our ‘top 10’ is Pretoria, one of three capitals of South Africa. It has made a name for itself in the field of higher education and research and is home to three universities. The city near the metropolis of Johannesburg is considered an important commercial and industrial center, where railways, cars and machines are built and steel is cooked.
Published by DW.COM