March 4, 2020

Addressing the Challenges of Urbanization in Africa

Africa is the world’s least urbanized continent, and yet the rate at which its cities are expanding is growing faster than no other worldwide – at an average of 3.5 percent per year. This growth of urbanization does, however, vary across the continent, ranging from the already heavily urbanized North Africa (47.8 percent) to the least urbanized Sub-Saharan Africa (32.8 percent).The aggregate rate of urbanization on the continent is projected to grow from 40 percent in 2015 to 56 percent in 2050.
The enormous speed at which Africa’s cities are growing is linked to other key development trends, most prominently accelerating economic and population growth, increasing migration from rural to urban areas, and the youth bulge. It is strongly driven by Africans’ perceptions that cities – in contrast to the continent’s rural areas – offer an abundance of livelihood opportunities, including employment and income-generating opportunities, food security, and access to finance, education and social capital as well as social protection.

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Nigeria Economic Review

Global economic growth remained fairly stable in 2016Q3 with baseline projections for global growth at 3.1 percent and 2.4 percent by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank respectively. Growth in developed countries was moderate but unevenly distributed: while the U.S and the UK showed improvements, growth in other economies remained tepid. Among emerging countries, India witnessed higher growth while growth in China remained constant but the Chinese Yuan continued to appreciate. Given that India is Nigerias major crude oil importer, improving economic conditions in India may translate into rising demand for Nigerias crude oil. However, the continuous appreciation of the Yuan poses significant inflationary threat in Nigeria given the high level of imports from China. Subdued global demand, weak trade, uncertainties in commodity prices and consequences of the Brexit were the key constraining factors to growth over the period. In addition, growth in Sub-Saharan African countries remained generally slow on the account of low commodity price, political turmoil, and inconsistent government policies.