Monday, December 03, 2012

African's Cities May Be Bigger Than You Think

Source: The Economist
"Booming cities will be good for Africa’s construction sector. Ambitious new city projects like EkoAtlantic in Lagos and Tatu City in Nairobi will be welcomed by a middle class tired of traffic jams, power cuts and insecurity. Such projects are likely to make money, but they will contribute little to giving the poor a sense of ownership of their cities. It is unclear how jobs will be created in cities that have little industry. Innovative services on African mobile phones will win praise in Silicon Valley in 2013, but software can do only so much. Look down the list of growing cities and a host of little-known places like Huambo, Mbuji-Mayi and Mbeya will be expected to serve populations the size of Milan’s—with little infrastructure.

"The standard view of cities as generators of wealth, diversity and ideas will be challenged in Africa. The exclusion of the poor will be magnified by a lack of public space and by rising living costs. To become liveable, cities will have to improve public transport. Many are trying, but safety will be a challenge: murder, and violent carjackings and robberies, will rise in many cities in 2013, sometimes with police involvement."

Did you know that:
  • The population of Khartoum is more than twice that of Amsterdam;
  • The population of Luanda is more that four times the population of Geneva and its surrounding area.

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