Saturday, November 26, 2022

"Megalopolis: how coastal west Africa will shape the coming century"

As the old-timers used to say, "Pay attention or pay the offer."

From The Guardian:

Thu 27 Oct 2022 01.00 EDTLast modified on Wed 16 Nov 2022 05.13 EST

By the end of the century, Africa will be home to 40% of the world’s population – and nowhere is this breakneck-pace development happening faster than this 600-mile stretch between Abidjan and Lagos

It has long been said that no one knows with any certainty the population of Lagos, Nigeria. When I spent time there a decade ago, the United Nations conservatively put the number at 11.5 million, but other estimates ranged as high as 18 million. The one thing everyone agreed was that Lagos was growing very fast. The population was already 40 times bigger than it had been in 1960, when Nigeria gained independence. One local demographer told me that 5,000 people were migrating to Lagos every day, mostly from the Nigerian countryside. Since then, the city has continued to swell. By 2035, the UN projects that Lagos will be home to 24.5 million people.

What is happening in Lagos is happening across the continent. Today, Africa has 1.4 billion people. By the middle of the century, experts such as Edward Paice, author of Youthquake: Why Africa’s Demography Should Matter to the World, believe that this number will have almost doubled. By the end of this century, the UN projects that Africa, which had less than one-tenth of the world’s population in 1950, will be home to 3.9 billion people, or 40% of humanity.

These are staggering numbers, but they do not tell the full story. We need to zoom in closer. It is in cities where most of this astounding demographic growth will occur. Once we begin to think along these lines, what is at stake becomes even clearer. Much western commentary on Africa’s population growth has been alarmist and somewhat parochial, focusing on what this means for migration to Europe. The question of how African nations manage the fastest urbanisation in human history will certainly affect how many millions of its people seek to stay or leave. A recent continental survey by a South African foundation, for example, found that 73% of young Nigerians expressed an interest in emigrating within the next three years. But given its scale, this is a story with far larger implications than population movements alone, shaping everything from global economic prosperity to the future of the African nation state and the prospects for limiting climate crisis.

There is one place above all that should be seen as the centre of this urban transformation. It is a stretch of coastal west Africa that begins in the west with Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, and extends 600 miles east – passing through the countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin – before finally arriving at Lagos. Recently, this has come to be seen by many experts as the world’s most rapidly urbanising region, a “megalopolis” in the making – that is, a large and densely clustered group of metropolitan centres. When its population surpassed 10 million people in the 1950s, the New York metropolitan area became the anchor of one of the first urban zones to be described this way – a region of almost continuous dense habitation that stretches 400 miles from Washington DC to Boston. Other regions, such as Japan’s Tokyo-Osaka corridor, soon gained the same distinction, and were later joined by other gigantic clusters in India, China and Europe....

Kevin Kelly on Twitter: "News to me: The emerging megacity along Africa's  west coast. "By 2100, the Lagos-Abidjan stretch is projected to be the  largest zone of continuous, dense habitation on earth,



Needed: 800 Million Jobs For Africa
By now most of our readers have seen a version of the U.N. projections for world population in 2050 and 2100. If not, here's a post from April with the graphic:

IMF: Sub-Saharan Africa has Just Completed One of its Best Decades of Growth--It's Not Enough (UPDATED)
Update below.
Original post:
This may be one of the more important graphics you are likely to come across today.
Africa's population is projected by the United Nations to reach 2 billion people by 2045, 4 billion before the end of the century:

We followed up with "To Jumpstart Development, Should We Give Africa Bonds a Whirl?"
The problem, as always, is keeping the money from sticking to the hands of the kleptocrats,
And whether investment will actually do any good.

Following on "IMF: Sub-Saharan Africa has Just Completed One of its Best Decades of Growth--It's Not Enough" here are a couple women who have thought about this stuff, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala a former two-time Finance Minister of Nigeria and World Bank Managing Director, currently a senior advisor at Lazard and Nancy Birdsall, former EVP at the Inter-American Development Bank where she ran a $30 billion loan portfolio....

And today it's the population analysts at Populyst, September 28:
Africa: 800 Million Jobs Needed
African economies are in a race to get ahead of the demographic boom

Spears' Magazine on Africa

 And "Population: 'Future Hubs of Africa and Asia'" on where to focus efforts and resources:

...This demographic boom could, under the right conditions, result in a regional or even a global economic boom. These conditions are first and foremost 1) an increase in literacy and 2) an improvement in governance, in the poorest countries where the population is growing rapidly. Higher literacy, in particular among young women, sets off a chain reaction that drives down infant mortality rates and total fertility rates. In time, this evolution leads to a falling dependency ratio and creates an opportunity for the economy to realize a demographic dividend. This was in large part the dynamic that created the China boom in the past three decades....

Most Populous Cities Through the Centuries (and diagrams of the principle high buildings of the world, 1884)

Population: "Future Hubs of Africa and Asia"
Teensy Equatorial Guinea is the Wealthiest Country On the African Continent.
"Largest Cities In The World: 2016"
"Cities that grow themselves: They are spreading like branching plants across the globe.
Should we rein cities in or embrace their biomorphic potential?"
I for one, look forward to experiencing the mega-cities* of the year 2100.
Frankly, I look forward to experiencing anything in the year 2100.
*The estimated seven most populous cities in 2100 via the construction mavens at B1M:



None of the Chinese mega-cities makes the year 2100 top ten, nor does the current population champ, Tokyo.