Urbanisation, Industrialization, population, and job opportunities promote rapid growth in any place in the world.Similarly, as the population of Africa has increased over the years, cities with high levels of industrialisation, urbanisation, and economic activities experience immigration and a fast-growing rate.

According to Brahima Coulibaly, director of Brookings’ Africa Growth Initiative, “About half of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be located on the continent, with 20 economies expanding at an average rate of 5% or higher over the next five years, faster than the 3.6% rate for the global economy.”

By 2050, Africa’s population is anticipated to reach about 2 billion inhabitants, and more economic activities are taking place, counterbalancing the increasing population.

According to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) research, here are the top 10 Africa’s Fastest Growing cities in 2021.

Accra, Ghana

Accra, the capital, administrative and economic city of Ghana, is the largest in Ghana. It is the home for the significant government and non-governmental ministries, insurance firms, the head offices of banks, and the big markets which import most of the food supply. Furthermore, the city is near the Tema Port, a central cross-country border for Ghanian international trade.

With a growth rate of 49%, the population of Accra is expected to increase to 3.6M from a population of 2.3M in 2005.

Ibadan, Nigeria

Ibadan is the largest city in Nigeria by landmass and the third most populated city after Lagos and Kano. There are many economic activities in Ibadan in virtually every street and suburb, and it is situated relatively close to the commercial hub Lagos (130 km), making the city particularly attractive for entrepreneurs.

The commercial activities in Ibadan include agriculture, trade, handicrafts, manufacturing and, the running costs are much lower than in Lagos. As of 2021, the total population in Ibadan is approximately 3.7M people, with the city anticipated to grow by 49% to a projected population of 4M in 2025.

Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, located around the Western Coast of Nigeria, is the largest city in Nigeria population-wise. It is the administrative seat for most financial and business centres working in and across Nigeria. Due to its location on the Western coast, it houses the largest seaport in Nigeria, a significant site for international trade, as well as skyscrapers that serve as up-market apartments and businesses.

Also known as “The city that won’t stop growing”, the population of Lagos is expected to rise by 49.5% in 2025, from a total of 18M in 2005 to 27M in 2025. Every day, thousands of people move to the city, many of them from rural areas, in the hope of finding work and a better life.

Dakar, Senegal

Dakar is the government and capital seat of Senegal. It houses one of the best seaports in West Africa for many trades between West Africa and Europe, and it is home to many historical African museums.

The primary economic activities in the city are petroleum refining, truck assembly, fish canning, flour milling, brewing, and peanut oil refining.

Dakar is projected to grow by 52% in 2025 from 2.8M in 2005 to 4.2M in 2025.

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Abidjan, located along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean bordering Côte d’Ivoire, is the country’s capital city. The city houses many of the administrative and business sectors of the country.

Additionally, scientific research institutes in the area and many museums of Ivorian arts attract diverse tourists to the site. The city is multiplying, and the population is expected to pass 6 million in the next ten years.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopi

Addis Ababa is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It is known as the political region of Africa for it is the location of the headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Commission for Africa. It surrounds several countries and links them en route to ports like the Gulf of Aden in Djibouti or Asseb, on the Red Sea, in Eritrea.

The population of Addis Ababa is expected to rise by 62.4%, having a population of about 2.9M in 2005 to a projected 4.7M in 2025.

Luanda, Angola

Luanda is the capital of Angola and the biggest city in the country, housing many administrative and economic centres of Angola. The country has rich oil reserves and trades them internationally amidst other commodities through the Port of Luanda.

With a current population over 7.5M, the country is forecasted to increase to 8M by 2025, rising by 69.3% from a population of 4.8M in 2005.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Once known as Léopoldville, Kinshasa is the most popular and capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Being the industrial and business hub of the country, the economy of DRC highly depends on Kinshasa. Just opposite Kinshasa is another country’s capital city Brazzaville. The closeness of Kinshasa to Brazzaville plays a crucial role in facilitating many and significant trades in and out of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

With a population of about 10M in 2005 and continued migration of many young people from the rural areas to Kinshasa, the population is anticipated to rise by 72% and increase to 18M by 2025.

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is the headquarters for many foreign companies and international organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). It is the country’s economic space, with many manufacturing companies producing beverages, cigarettes, and processed food. Furthermore, it is a beautiful destination for many tourists in Africa as there are many international and local wildlife conservation centres in the country. The population of Nairobi is expected to increase from 3.9M in 2005 to about 6.5M in 2025.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam has more than 6 million inhabitants making it the largest city in the country.

Despite it not being the country’s capital city, Dar es Salaam is the seat of many government offices and embassies in Tanzania. This is attributed to the rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, and migration to the city, contributing a significant portion to its economy.

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