The metropolitan area of ​​Africa

An interesting piece in the Guardian by Howard French on the megacities of Africa and the difficulties of bringing together five nations with very different governments and colonial histories:

There is one place above all that must be seen as the center of this urban transformation. It is a stretch of the west coast of Africa that starts in the west with Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, and runs 600 miles east – passing through the countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin – before finally reaching Lagos. Recently, this has come to be seen by many experts as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the world, a ‘megacity’ under construction – that is, a large and densely populated collection of urban centres.

… In just over a decade from now, its major cities will house 40 million people. Abidjan, with a population of 8.3 million, would be the equivalent of what it is today in New York City. The story of the small towns in the region is equally interesting. They have either become major urban centers in their own right, or—as with places like Oyo in Nigeria, Takoradi in Ghana, and Bingerville in Ivory Coast—are gradually being absorbed by megacities. Meanwhile, newborn cities are appearing in places that were all barren a generation ago. When one includes these kinds of places, the projected population for this coastal region will reach 51 million people by 2035, roughly as many people as the US Northeast Corridor was counted when it was initially considered a metropolis.

But unlike that super-American region, whose population has long since stabilized, this part of West Africa will continue to grow. By the year 2100, the Lagos-Abidjan stretch is expected to be the largest densely populated and continuous residential area on Earth, with approximately half a billion people.

Megalopolis after Africa appeared first in Marginal REVOLUTION.