In Africa, Shift to Cities Could Drive Growth

By Victor Kiprop

As more people move to urban areas in Africa, the United Nations wants governments to use the numbers to drive industrialisation.

In its 2017 Economic Report on Africa launched in Kigali recently, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) notes that while rising urbanisation in Africa creates growing challenges in terms of infrastructure and services, it can also drive industrial development under the right policies.

"A key conclusion is that under the right policy framework, anchored in national development planning, African countries can leverage the momentum of urbanisation to accelerate industrialisation for a more prosperous and equitable future," said ECA executive secretary Abdalla Hamdok.

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