Research Briefing | Nov 14, 2022

Africa: The longer-term outlook for sub-Saharan African cities

Sub - Saharan African cities, The key issues shaping the long-term urban outlook in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa will be at the very epicentre of global urbanisation over the next two decades, with the world’s top 20 fastest growing cities for population all being found in the region. However, from an economic perspective, sub-Saharan cities will face difficulties. While the rate of GDP growth will be healthy by global standards, not one city from the region will enter our Global 100 for GDP size by 2040. Sub-Saharan cities will also continue to be significantly below the global urban average when it comes to income per head.

What you will learn:

  • The global context: While GDP growth will be strong, rapid demographic changes in sub-Saharan cities will limit the gains in GDP per person.
  • The centre of global urbanisation: Population growth in sub-Saharan cities will outpace all other regions by quite some distance.
  • Drivers of population growth: There are a number of factors underpinning sub Saharan Africa’s demographic outlook.
  • The rise of the megacities: Rapid population growth means that a number of sub-Saharan cities will gain greater prominence in our global rankings over the next two decades.
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