African urbanization trends and prospects

  • Philippe Bocquier Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Andrew Kabulu Mukandila Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa


The paper aims at analysing and projecting urbanization trends using United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects data, 2007 Revision. A third order polynomial is used to model urban-rural growth difference from 1950 to 2005 country by country. The results of the model are compared to UN projection on urban growth for the period 2010-2050. Using the new model, the African urban population is projected to stagnate around its current level below 40%, with little variations by regions up to 2050, while the UN predicts 62%. The findings suggest that UN projections are excessively high and do not match the level of economic and social development in Africa