Challenging the Myths of Urban Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Evidence from Nigeria
The evidence from censuses and satellite imagery is increasing that the rate at which many countries are becoming more urban in sub-Saharan Africa has slowed or is even stagnating. This has major policy implications. Many standard reviews of the region still, however, tend to maintain that urbanization is occurring rapidly but, as this paper demonstrates, the data used are frequently erroneous. Such errors are exacerbated by a lack of reasonable estimates of the size and growth of towns in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous country with the region’s most complex urban system. This paper also attempts to address this knowledge gap and shows how Nigeria’s level of urbanization has also been significantly over-estimated.
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