Whatever happened to Africa's rapid urbanisation

Author: 

Deborah Potts

Publication date: 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Type: 

  • Research paper

Producer: 

External to ACUI

Project theme: 

Document: 

It is widely believed that urbanisation is occurring faster in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world, as migrants move from rural to urban settlements. This is a fallacy. While the populations of numerous urban areas are growing rapidly, the urbanisation levels of many countries are increasing slowly – if at all. Natural increase, rather than net in-migration, is the predominant growth factor in most urban populations. African governments, policymakers and international donors need to acknowledge fundamental changes in urbanisation trends, and respond to the irrefutable messages these impart about urban employment, incomes and economic development.