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Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 11:29 PM
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Nigeria: Challenges of Lagos As a Mega-City

Nigeria: Challenges of Lagos As a Mega-City


21 February 2010

Catherine Kehinde George



Read More: http://allafrica.com/stories/201002221420.html

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In spite of political opposition to urbanisation in many countries, rates of urban growth are expected to remain relatively high over the next 25 years, with marked increases in the urban population of both continents and of the world. In 1950, 14.7 percent of Africa's inhabitants were urban, in 2000 it was 37.2% and by 2015 it is expected to rise to 45.3 percent.

- Human settlements in developing countries carry a great burden from rapid, unplanned development. Communities face the problems of inadequate funding for basic infrastructure; rapid rate of population growth and relocation, and its consequent slums, urban sprawl, depletion and intensive exploitation of natural resources.

- Nigerian cities such as Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Kaduna and Calabar grow mainly through rural-urban migration. This urbanisation process has outpaced the existing urban management system. 1996 World Bank reports on Nigeria indicated that the growth rate of urban areas has increased from 20 percent in 1970 to 33 percent in 1993. It is also projected that by the year 2025, 75 percent of Nigeria's population of about 245 million persons is expected to live in towns and cities.

- Basic problems in Nigeria's urban management include inadequate professional and supporting technical staff as well as inadequacy of current digitized data and information on urban conditions. Effective urban management strategies depend on comprehensive and up to-date information base.

- It is significant to note that Lagos grew at a rate of 3.3 percent per annum between 1901 and 1950 but its growth rate per annum between 1950 and 1963 had risen to 18.6 percent. By 1952, the population of Metropolitan Lagos, (whose boundary had expanded to include some rural settlements) had reached 346,137. By the 1963 census, a population of 1,122,733 was recorded for Metropolitan Lagos which at that time did not include Ikorodu.

- By 1978, the population of Metropolitan Lagos had risen to 3.8 million, and by 1979 it was 4.13 million. The various economic activities encouraged population growth. This phenomenal population growth was not due to natural increase alone but also to rural-urban migration and foreign immigration. The migrants are mainly in their reproductive years and are in search of better opportunities.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Africa's Urban Transformation: Signs of Opportunity and Hope


February 23, 2010

Charisma Acey



Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charis..._b_473160.html

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The people of Africa living south of the Sahara dessert (in the region commonly designated Sub-Saharan Africa [SSA], also a casual synonym for Black Africa) are in the midst of an urbanization revolution. People are moving into cities on the continent faster than anywhere else on earth. And within a couple decades all SSA countries will have more population living in cities than in rural areas, according to the 2006 UN Human Development Report.

- The problem is that much of this urban growth has not resulted from an economic boom. Rather, what we have witnessed in the region over the last several decades is urbanization in the face of limited development. Faced with choices that spawn from a litany of problems beyond their immediate control or scale (weak agricultural sectors and economic performance, lack of intermediate cities and towns, growth of large cities with poor economic bases and municipal revenue capacity, increased global competition, less domestic protection, state privatization, decreased public spending, and more), people are searching for opportunity in large cities.

- With cities unable to handle the population influx, urban migrants from smaller towns and rural areas wind up in extremely deprived, low income areas that are bereft of quality housing and adequate services such as safe water and sanitation, or adequate networked infrastructure such as electricity and transportation, among other challenges.



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