The African continent in 2017 is expected to house some of the world’s fastest growing cities. This is largely thanks to an array of factors including the abundance of natural resources, increasing levels of foreign direct investment (FDI), a young population and the growth in internet penetration rates.
Yet in light of the rapid rate of urbanization, urban issues related to housing and city infrastructure will remain a key challenge for African cities in 2017.
Fransua Vytautas Razvadauskas, City Analyst at Euromonitor comments: “The rapid uptake of high-speed broadband internet has been pivotal to the impressive rates of growth posted by Kenyan cities in recent years. Internet enabled mobile devices have laid the groundwork for Kenya’s e-commerce boom. Easier and cheaper access to the internet has been a major driver of the e-commerce boom in many Kenyan (and African) cities, spurring an online retailing surge. The subsequent growth of online retailing has been met with a rise in the demand for logistics and postal services.”
Some of the other rapidly growing African cities are located in Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon and Egypt.
The Moroccan city of Agadir is thriving thanks to its strong tourism industry whilst Tangier is making its mark as an industrial hub, with prominent manufacturing industries in textiles, electrical machinery and food. As well as benefiting from FDI, Abuja and Yaounde— Nigeria’s and Cameroon’s capital cities, respectively, are set to record some of the fastest rates of population growth in 2017 among African cities analyzed by Euromonitor International.
The population rise is expected to contribute to growth in demand for real estate, public services and infrastructure. The Egyptian city of Mansoura rounds of the top 10 fastest growing cities list. Mansoura’s economy took a significant stride forward since the discovery of natural gas reserves in 2003 and the rapid urbanization of the city should continue into 2017.