IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Whatever Happened to Africa’s Rapid Urbanisation?


  • Dr Deborah Potts


It is widely believed that urbanisation is occurring faster in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world, as migrants move from rural to urban settlements. This is a fallacy. While the populations of numerous urban areas are growing rapidly, the urbanisation levels of many countries are increasing slowly – if at all. Natural increase, rather than net in-migration, is the predominant growth factor in most urban populations. African governments, policymakers and international donors need to acknowledge fundamental changes in urbanisation trends, and respond to the irrefutable messages these impart about urban employment, incomes and economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Dr Deborah Potts, 2012. "Whatever Happened to Africa’s Rapid Urbanisation?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 13(2), pages 17-30, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:517

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    2. Jamal Ibrahim Haidar, 2009. "The mark-to-market valuation and executive pay package regulations within the 2009 US (Bailout) Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 189-199.
    3. World Bank, 2010. "Global Economic Prospects 2010 : Crisis, Finance, and Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2415.
    4. Haidar, Jamal Ibrahim, 2012. "Currency crisis transmission through international trade," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 151-157.
    5. Haidar, Jamal Ibrahim, 2009. "Investor protections and economic growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 1-4, April.
    6. Brian Sturgess, 2010. "Greek Economic Statistics: A Decade of Deceit," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 11(2), pages 67-100, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Traub, Lulama & Yeboah, Felix & Meyer, Ferdinand & Jayne, Thomas S., 2015. "Megatrends and the Future of African Economies," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212525, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Michael Jacobsen & Michael Webster & Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, 2013. "The Future of Water in African Cities : Why Waste Water?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11964.
    3. Christiaensen, Luc & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2014. "Poverty Reduction During the Rural–Urban Transformation – The Role of the Missing Middle," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 43-58.
    4. Yeboah, F. Kwame & Jayne, T.S., 2016. "Africa’s Evolving Employment Structure," Food Security International Development Working Papers 246956, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    5. Jayne, T. S. & Holtzman, John S. & Yeboah, Felix Kwame & Anderson, Jock R. & Oehmke, James F., 2016. "Agri-Food Systems and Youth Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 249276, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Headey, Derek D. & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Adaptation to land constraints: Is Africa different?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 18-33.
    7. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Structural transformation or elite land capture? The growth of “emergent” farmers in Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 194-202.
    8. de Brauw, Alan & Mueller, Valerie & Lee, Hak Lim, 2014. "The Role of Rural–Urban Migration in the Structural Transformation of Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 33-42.
    9. Carren Ginsburg & Philippe Bocquier & Donatien Beguy & Sulaimon Afolabi & Orvalho Augusto & Karim Derra & Frank Odhiambo & Mark Otiende & Abdramane Soura & Pascal Zabré & Michael J. White & Mark Colli, 2016. "Human capital on the move: Education as a determinant of internal migration in selected INDEPTH surveillance populations in Africa," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 34(30), pages 845-884, May.
    10. Jayne, T.S. & Chamberlin, Jordan & Headey, Derek D., 2014. "Land pressures, the evolution of farming systems, and development strategies in Africa: A synthesis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-17.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:517. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ed Jones). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.