An attention-grabbing piece in The Guardian by Howard French on Africa’s megalopolis and the difficulties of pulling collectively 5 international locations with very completely different governments and colonial histories:
There’s one place above all that ought to be seen because the centre of this city transformation. It’s a stretch of coastal west Africa that begins within the west with Abidjan, the financial capital of Ivory Coast, and extends 600 miles east – passing by way of the international locations of Ghana, Togo and Benin – earlier than lastly arriving at Lagos. Just lately, this has come to be seen by many consultants because the world’s most quickly urbanising area, a “megalopolis” within the making – that’s, a big and densely clustered group of metropolitan centres.
…In simply over a decade from now, its main cities will include 40 million folks. Abidjan, with 8.3 million folks, might be virtually as massive as New York Metropolis is right this moment. The story of the area’s small cities is equally dramatic. They’re both turning into main city centres in their very own proper, or – as with locations like Oyo in Nigeria, Takoradi in Ghana, and Bingerville in Ivory Coast – they’re steadily being absorbed by greater cities. In the meantime, new child cities are popping into existence in settings that have been all however barren a technology in the past. When one contains these kinds of locations, the projected inhabitants for this coastal zone will attain 51 million folks by 2035, roughly as many individuals because the north-eastern hall of the US counted when it first got here to be thought-about a megalopolis.
However in contrast to that American super-region, whose inhabitants way back plateaued, this a part of west Africa will continue to grow. By 2100, the Lagos-Abidjan stretch is projected to be the biggest zone of steady, dense habitation on earth, with one thing within the order of half a billion folks.