How a Growing Megalopolis Will Redefine Africa's Economic and Political Boundaries

Within a few decades, explosive population growth in West Africa will create an urbanized area similar in size to America's eastern seaboard between Boston and D.C., "only far more populous." At one pole is Lagos, a "powerful new city-state."

"Here and there already, [Africa's] biggest cities are spawning enormous urban corridors that are spilling over borders and creating vigorous new economic zones that are outstripping the ability of weak and plodding central governments to manage or even retain their hold on them," writes Howard W. French.

"Lagos, which sits in the southwestern corner of Nigeria, sprawled over a collection of islands and swampy coastlands, occupies the leading edge of this phenomenon. Today, its extraordinary growth is driving sweeping changes in a five-country region that stretches 500 miles westward along a band of palm-shaded seaboard all the way to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, a mushrooming city of perhaps six million people that has long been this region's other major economic and cultural pole."

"In between them, in one of the busiest staging areas of the historic Atlantic slave trade, West Africa is laying the foundations of one of the world's biggest megalopolises, and in Lagos itself, the start of a potentially powerful new city-state."

Full Story: How Africa's New Urban Centers Are Shifting Its Old Colonial Boundaries

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00