Populations in African cities expected to increase to 810 million by 2035 – report

The study conducted by Frost & Sullivan, a global strategy consulting and market intelligence firm says that 472 million people currently live in African cities and this number is expected to grow to 810 million people by 2035.

Cape Town Aerial view of Table Mountain.
Most of the urban growth seen in Africa has been poorly planned and has resulted in the growth of mega slums or informal settlements in the peripheries surrounding urban centres

The report says a large proportion of this urban growth will be concentrated in small and medium-sized or secondary cities and towns, alongside primary and capital cities

CAPE TOWN, September 16 (ANA) – Africa is the fastest urbanising region in the world with an average annual urbanisation rate of 3.2 percent, well ahead of the global average of two percent, according to a recent study issued on Wednesday.

The study conducted by Frost & Sullivan, a global strategy consulting and market intelligence firm revealed that 472 million people currently live in African cities and this number is expected to grow to 810 million people by 2035.

It said a large proportion of this urban growth will be concentrated in small and medium-sized or secondary cities and towns, alongside primary and capital cities. By 2050, urban populations in Africa will represent 21 percent of the global urban population.

Rapid urbanisation has important implications on how residents live their day to day life, as well as how businesses operate. Mass rural-urban migration is likely to lead to the establishment of mega cities, where populations will exceed 10 million people.

The cities of Lagos in Nigeria, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania are predicted to reach mega city status by 2035. Most of the urban growth seen in Africa has been poorly planned and has resulted in the growth of mega slums or informal settlements in the peripheries surrounding urban centres, the study said.

To take advantage of these, unique business models and innovative marketing approaches are required. Inadequate and insufficient infrastructure continues to be a major hindrance to Africa’s development. The region faces annual shortfalls of US$68 – US$108 billion while trying to cover the basic infrastructural gap.

Private sector involvement stands to offer solutions to address these challenges.

The three broad categories of opportunity that have been identified include investment in infrastructure, increased consumer access and improved service provision.

A South African start-up called Pargo is a perfect example of a company taking advantage of the gap in the market in terms of consumer access, according to the study.

It also says that Pargo is a smart logistics company that found that up to 75 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population has limited access to goods and services as a result of their place of residence such as within informal settlements or large residential estates.

Customers across southern Africa can now easily send and receive parcels and make use of online shopping via convenient retail stores. In terms of healthcare service provision, efficient delivery and access is one of Africa’s greatest challenges where one in five children do not have access to life-saving vaccines.

An IoT-enabled cold box serves as a means of bridging this gap since it can store temperature sensitive goods as well as be remotely controlled and tracked. This was made possible by a Nigerian startup called Gricd. Their primary focus is ensuring that vaccines and medicines reach the intended market or consumer without disruption in the cold chain.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay

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