African urban futures

This paper forecasts likely population numbers for Africa’s current and emerging megacities.

Africa’s future is urban, as cities and towns will increasingly shape how people live on the continent. By 2030 Africa will host six of the world’s 41 megacities. The urban transition has the potential to accelerate economic and social development, but the structural hurdles are huge. Africa’s urban population boom is happening in a context of slow structural transformation, poverty, inequality and urban violence. For Africa to seize the opportunity to build sustainable urban futures for its population, urban governance needs to improve. Megacities are central to national economic performance and should be at the forefront of any governance agenda.

About the authors:

Julia Bello-Schünemann is a Senior Researcher with the African Futures and Innovation programme at the Institute for Security Studies. Since May 2016, she has been based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her research interests relate to African futures, urbanisation, statebuilding, conflict prevention, and early warning. Julia holds a PhD degree in International Relations from the Complutense University Madrid.

Ciara Aucoin is a researcher with the African Futures and Innovation programme at the ISS. Previously, she worked for the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) in Sussex, UK and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum in New York. Ciara received her MSc in development practice at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.


Development partners
This paper was made possible with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The Institute for Security Studies is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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