Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Africa 2022

The fastest-growing cities in Africa are usually decided by the abundance of economic opportunities. Rural-urban migration is usually the biggest factor that contributes to the population explosion observed in these vibrant African cities. The population explosion in these few cities also results in large percentages of the total populations of these countries being concentrated in a few places.

Rural-urban migration is influenced by a million factors which include employment opportunities, security, the presence of more advanced amenities in the cities, and lots more. Of course, this phenomenon of concentration of people in a few cities presents challenges that are quite difficult for the authorities to deal with. Nevertheless, people will continue to gravitate towards places where they find opportunities.

The current figures are at variance with figures obtained in the previous years, which put cities such as Lagos, and Ibadan as some of the fastest-growing on the continent. While such cities are still heavily populated, they have been overtaken in the speed with which they are growing.

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Cities In Africa

1.   Bujumbura, Burundi

Projected Growth Rate: 123%

Bujumbura was formerly called Usumbura. It is the economic capital, largest city, and main port of Burundi. Bujumbura has a population of 1,000,000 out of a national population of about 12 million. Bujumbura has witnessed a growth rate of about 123% making it the fastest-growing city in Africa.

The population explosion is prompted by people migrating from the rural areas in order to find work; mostly in the coffee production or processing industry, as well as cotton, and tin ore industries. Many people just come into work at the ports, while other important sectors include the services and construction industries.

2.  Zinder, Niger

Projected Growth Rate: 118%

Zinder is the third-largest city in Niger, with a population of more than 235,605. The city is located about 861 km (535 mi) east of the capital Niamey and 240 km north of the Nigerian city of Kano. This means the city is closer to Kano than it is to Niamey; which is why there is a lot of Nigerian influence in the city.

Zinder has seen a population explosion of about 118%, and this is largely because of the available trade opportunities with Kano. Zinder also has important industries such as agriculture (or the sale of agricultural produces from surrounding towns), Leather Tanning, food Processing, and Oil Refining.

3.  Kampala, Uganda

Projected Growth Rate: 112%

Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda, in East Africa. The city has a population of about 1,680,000 (out of a national population of about 45 million). While Kampala proper may not be overcrowded; the surrounding suburbs have a population of about 6,709,900 people.

The Kampala Metropolitan area continues to attract people from the rural areas in search of jobs; the most active sectors include Banking (all the commercial banks have their headquarters here), as well as services, commerce, industries, and several other small-scale businesses.

Even though Kampala is not overcrowded, the government is already making efforts to ensure that the rapid influx of people does not constitute a problem in the near future.

4.  Kabinda, Congo

Projected Growth Rate: 110%

Kabinda is the capital city of Lomami Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a very impressive growth rate; it is projected to grow by 110% between 2020 to 2035. Kabinda has a population of about 219,154 (out of a national population of 89 million people), which makes it a sparsely populated area, but a fast-growing city non the less.

5.  Songea, Tanzania

Projected Growth Rate: 110%

Songea is the capital of the Ruvuma Region in southwestern Tanzania. The city has a population of approximately 203,309, (out of a national population of 59.73 million), and continues to grow in population. With a projected population explosion amounting to about 110%, Songea is one of the rapidly expanding cities in Africa.

Presently, the economy is supported by government presence in the form of education; there are at least 7 government schools in the area.

Aside from these government educational institutions, the services industry has also been built around these schools; transportation, hospitality, real estate, and many other industries are springing up all around the city.

6.  Mwanza, Tanzania

Projected Growth Rate: 102%

Mwanza is an important city in Tanzania; it has a population of about 2.7 million people, (out of a national population of 59 million), and is continuing to grow at a fast rate. Mwanza is home to Ukerewe Island; which is the largest lake island in Africa.

Mwanza is economically important because there is a very good transport industry in the region, and all kinds of goods and services pass through the region.

There is a rail line, a very good road network, and an airport. There are also several hotels and motels, not only for tourists, but also for the many road users engaged in the transport industry.

7.  Gwagwalada, Nigeria

Projected Growth Rate: 102%

Gwagwalada is a suburb of Abuja, the federal capital territory of Nigeria. Gwagwalada has a population of 157,770 and is continuing to rise at a fast pace. Gwagwalada is growing exponentially because many people from all over the country, attracted by the prospects of finding jobs, are moving to Abuja.

As the capital of Nigeria, all the headquarters of the government agencies are located in the city. While most residents of Gwagwalada are not directly employed by the government; through its agencies; they are mostly engaged in the services industry which revolves around the presence of these government institutions, and around the presence of the workers.

Most people in Gwagwalada, therefore, work in the administrative districts such as Asokoro and Wuse but live in Gwagwalada where the costs of housing and living are considerably cheaper.

8.  Burnia, Congo

Projected Growth Rate: 101%

Burnia Bunia is the capital city of Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is located in the northeast of the country and is quite a developed area; full of residential buildings. Burnia has a population of about 900,666 (out of a national population of 89 million people).

Burnia is located on a plateau and has a lot of promise for the real estate industry. The region is home to a number of universities that supports other industries such as housing, food, clothing and fashion, and transportation. Burnia is therefore one of the major hot spots for rural-urban migration, and the region is projected to grow in population exponentially by 2035.

9.  Niamey, Niger

Projected Growth Rate: 101%

Niamey is the capital and largest city of Niger. It is located in the southwest of the country; on the Niger River, primarily on the east bank. Niamey has a population of about 1,026,848 (out of a national population of about 24 million).

Niamey is increasing in population at an exponential rate because there is a lot of migration from the rural areas; people are coming in to participate in the commercial activities in the area including raising, buying and selling of livestock, growing millet, and working in the ceramics, cement and brick manufacturing plants.

10.  Tete, Mozambique

Projected Growth Rate: 101%

Tete is a city and province in Mozambique. It is located on the banks of the Zambezi River, and a beautiful combination of modern buildings, green marshes, and very fertile land. Tete has a population of 305,722 (out of a national population of 29 million). Tete means ‘reed’ in the local language.

Tete is projected to grow exponentially; even doubling its population by 2035. The people come in to participate in the economy which includes agriculture, commerce, services, and so on.

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The fastest-growing cities in Africa are not typically overcrowded; they are just developing quickly because of the economic opportunities which attract the people in crowds.

The fact that these cities are comparatively low in population gives credence to the idea that Africans generally avoid crowded spaces; moving out to less densely populated places.

Large cities all over the world usually come with problems such as crime, waste management, and pressure on the health management authorities. Due to the fact that most of Africa is underdeveloped; these pressures may be even more telling on the authorities.