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The State of African Cities 2014

Re-Imagining Sustainable Urban Transitions

image of The State of African Cities 2014
The African continent is currently in the midst of simultaneously unfolding and highly significant demographic, economic, technological, environmental, urban and socio-political transitions. Africa’s economic performance is promising, with booming cities supporting growing middle classes and creating sizable consumer markets. Despite significant overall growth, the continent continues to suffer under very rapid urban growth accompanied by massive urban poverty and many other social problems. These seem to indicate that the development trajectories followed by African nations since post-independence may not be able to deliver on the aspirations of broad based human development and prosperity for all. This report, therefore, argues for a bold re-imagining of prevailing models in order to steer the ongoing transitions towards greater sustainability based on a thorough review of all available options. That is especially the case since the already daunting urban challenges in Africa are now being exacerbated by the new vulnerabilities and threats associated with climate and environmental change.

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A continent in transition

The 2000-2010 decade was one of major changes in Africa’s developmental outlook - some say a turning point. Various statistical and other indicators appear to support increasingly positive perceptions of the new political and socio-economic opportunities for Africa in the decades to come, although they also indicate vast challenges. Africa is currently in the midst of a number of simultaneously unfolding and highly significant transitions, among them demographic, economic, technological, environmental, urban and socio-political. These transformations invite complete rethinking of current developmental trajectories, so as to further facilitate and sustain Africa’s strategic repositioning in the world.

English

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