Urbanization of Africa analyzed
In 1950, only 14.5% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lived in the city. In 1980, this percentage increased to 28% and in 1990 to 34%. It is expected that by 2020, 50% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa will be urbanized and in 2025, this figure will be at 60%. In 1960, Johannesburg was the only city in sub-Saharan Africa with a population of over one million inhabitants.
In 1970, there were 4 cities with over one million inhabitants: Cape Town, Johannesburg (both in South Africa), Kinshasa (in the then Zaire, now Democratic Republic of the Congo), and Lagos (Nigeria). In the late 80s, Abidjan (Ivory Coast, Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dakar (Senegal), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Durban (South Africa), East Rand (South Africa, is now part of the vast metropolitan area of Johannesburg), Harare (Zimbabwe), Ibadan (Nigeria), Khartoum (Sudan), Luanda (Angola) and Nairobi (Kenya) joined the list.
In 2010 it is estimated that at least 33 African cities have a population of over 1 million inhabitants. In 2015, it is estimated that Lagos will have 23 million people, becoming the third megaloplis of the world after Tokyo and Bombay. The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, which in 1940 had a population of 50,000 inhabitants, has now become the 23rd most populous city in the world, with 10 million inhabitants.
Even smaller cities are rapidly expanding. In Kenya, for example, in 1962 there were 34 cities. In 1999, there were 177. In Malawi, the percentage of urban population has grown from 5% in 1960 to 13% in 1995. 75% of the urban population resides in the major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, and Zomba. The growth rate of urban population is 5.6% per year.