More and More Africans Live in Cities


African cities will grow by 300% in the next 40 years. A United Nations report says Africa will be the fastest growing continent with more than 60% of the population living in cities. By 2050 about 1.2 billion people will be living in urban areas. The highest growth rate is expected in cities south of the Sahara.

Currently the largest city in Africa is Cairo, but in the next five years it will be overtaken by Lagos, Nigeria, which will then have a population of 12.5 million. Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will be the fastest growing city with a population increasing by half.

The United Nations says more and more people are looking for a better life in urban areas. In most cases they leave the countryside because farming cannot give them the money they need to survive.

African cities already have many problems: overcrowding, not enough clean water and traffic problems. The UN, however, says that more people could attain live a better living standard if infrastructure in African cities were better.


The report warns of other dangers that face of African cities. Many of them are situated near the coast. Millions of people may be without homes if sea levels rise because of global warming.


Africa's fastest growing cities

Africa's fastest growing cities


Related Topics


  • attain = get, reach
  • billion = a thousand million
  • coast = where the sea meets land
  • currently = right now
  • expected = will probably be
  • face = a difficult situation to deal with
  • global warming = the temperature of the atmosphere goes up because heat cannot escape
  • growth = increase
  • however = but
  • increase = to go up
  • infrastructure = the important systems and buildings that a country or city needs, like roads, schools, railways, banks etc...
  • overcrowding = if there are too many people in a certain area
  • overtake = to become bigger than something else
  • population = the people who live in a certain area
  • rise = go up
  • sea level = the average height of the sea; it is used for measuring other heights
  • situated = lie
  • survive = to live on
  • traffic = cars, trucks and buses moving along a street
  • urban = about a city