Urbanization, 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 Industrialization, urbanization, 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, the top 10 fastest growing African cities are.\
1. Accra, Ghana
Accra, the capital, administrative and economic city of Ghana, is the largest in Ghana. It is home to significant government and non-governmental ministries, insurance firms, the head offices of banks, and big markets that 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.
2. Ibadan, Nigeria
Ibadan is the largest city in Nigeria by landmass and the third most populated city after Lagos and Kano.
Ibadan has many economic activities 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, and 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.
3. 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, and 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, hoping to find work and a better life.
4. 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 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.
5. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
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.
6. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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.
7. 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 of 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.
8. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Once known as Léopoldville, Kinshasa is the most popular 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.
Kinshasa’s closeness to Brazzaville is crucial in facilitating many significant trades in and out of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With a population of about 10M in 2005 and the 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.
9. Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is the headquarters for many foreign companies and international organizations 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.
10. 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 urbanization, Industrialization, and migration to the city, contributing a significant portion to its economy.
The Port of Dar es Salaam also enables trade activities in and out of Tanzania.
In 2018, the population grew by 166% within eighteen years. Considering the population of 3.4M from the census data obtained in 2005, it is projected that by 2025 the population of Dar es Salaam will be about 6.2M rising by 82%.