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African Cities are not yet the Engines of Growth that they Should Be – Report

Unless urgent changes are made, African cities will neither demand nor receive the finance they desperately need to meet the challenges of their unprecedented urbanisation, says a new report from the African Development Bank (AfDB). With the population of Africa’s cities expected to nearly triple in the next 25 years, the AfDB proposes key strategies to address the urgent need to finance the continent’s urgent growth. The findings of the report show dramatically rising population numbers – Africa’s urban population is expected to reach 1.5bn inhabitants by 2050. The city of Lagos will be home to approximately 24.5m people in 2050 – more than 32 times its size when Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Urbanisation represents a critical economic, political, and social opportunity for accelerating progress towards the targets set out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. But if African cities are unable to build infrastructure and extend services, the cost will be borne by the whole world, says the report.