With two-thirds of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, the way that Africa urbanizes will determine the region's future growth and development, according to the the African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2016.
This year's report, focusing on the theme ‘Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation,' was released during the 51st AfDB Annual Meetings, taking place from 23-27 May 2016, in Lusaka, Zambia.
23 May 2016: With two-thirds of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, the way that Africa urbanizes will determine the region’s future growth and development, according to the the African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2016. This year’s report focuses on the theme, ‘Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation.’ It was released during the 51st AfDB Annual Meetings, taking place from 23-27 May 2016, in Lusaka, Zambia.
The AEO is produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). For the first time, in this year’s report, the statistical annex includes data on gender, comparing indicators from AfDB, OECD and UNDP.
AEO 2016 notes that Africa remained the second-fastest-growing economic region after East Asia, and its average growth is expected to be 3.7% in 2016 and 4.5% in 2017. With a doubling of the population living in cities from 1995 to 472 million in 2015, Africa is also experiencing slow structural transformation and lack of urban planning.
Speaking at the report launch, Mario Pezzini, OECD, said better harnessing Africa’s urban transition will require: increasing investment in urban infrastructure; improving connectivity with rural areas; matching real estate markets with the housing demand by clarifying land rights; managing the growth of intermediary cities; and improving the provision of infrastructure and services within and between cities. These actions will allow Africa’s urbanization trends to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 11 (making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), and the objectives of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.
Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UNDP, highlighted key opportunities for Africa to implement ambitious urbanization policies, such as the Common African Position on urban development, and the New Urban Agenda to be agreed at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in October 2016. [Publication: African Economic Outlook 2016: Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation] [OECD Press Release] [AfDB Press Release] [UNDP Press Release] [AEO Website] [AfDB Annual Meetings] [UN Press Release]