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Governing the Urban Transition in Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa's cities are experiencing the fastest growth rates in the world. By 2050, most of the countries in the region will have made an urban transition, meaning that more than 50% of their population will live in urban areas. Urban growth is often presented as a cornerstone of the continent's socio-economic development.

To assess these challenges Ifri’s Sub-Saharan Africa Center is launching, in May 2022, a research program looking into the major socio-economic and geopolitical challenges of urban dynamics on the continent.

The program deals with urban development in Africa through a sectoral and cross-cutting approach based on three key sectors: 

  1. Land issues are the foundation of urban life. Each urban project triggers changes within the relationship between land and its inhabitants.
  2. Urban infrastructure is often presented as a solution to the challenges of demographic growth in cities. However, the lack of infrastructure and its financing remains a concern for specialists.
  3. The mobility of goods, people and financial flows is characteristic of urban life and drives the multiple links between cities and the countryside. Analyzing the urban-rural continuum is at the heart of this program's objectives.

Research will be conducted at the macro (continental), meso (country), and micro (city/neighborhood) levels and will be promoted through events and publications.



Research Fellow, Coordinator of the Governing the Urban Transition in Africa research program, Ifri's Sub-Saharan Africa Center 


Research FellowDirector of Ifri's Sub-Saharan Africa Center


Associate Research Fellow, Sub-Saharan Africa Center and Turkey/Middle East Program


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