Africa’s U — Urban Growth

What effect is population growth having on Africa’s cities?

February 23, 2005

What effect is population growth having on Africa's cities?

People often travel long distances in search of a better future. While access to clean water, schools and medical care are somewhat less bad in the cities than in the rural areas, the coverage and quality of these goods are still spotty in urban areas.

In addition, even in cities access to these services is very limited for poor people.

Another difficulty rises from the fact that the swelling city population is not supported by dynamic growth in manufacturing firms.

Most available jobs are in the informal sector (such as petty trade and construction). But there are not enough jobs created to provide all these new arrivals with an opportunity for work.