This article looks at those major African cities that rank as the poorest cities in Africa. It is a well-known fact that some of the poorest people in the world live in Africa continent. While this holds largely for the entire continent due to widespread poverty, the situation is much worse in some areas than others.
TOP 10 POOREST CITIES IN AFRICA 2018
1. Monrovia, Liberia
Monrovia is the capital of Liberia and the poorest city in Africa. The economy of Monrovia is centered on the exportation of latex and iron ore. Products such as cement, refined petroleum food products, bricks and tiles, furniture and chemicals are manufactured there. Electricity in Monrovia is periodically unreliable as most residents in downtown Monrovia live without electricity. While the rate of development of Liberia is slow, the demands on the available infrastructure are bad. Roads in the city remain neglected, clean water and power remain challenges that are unsolved. Most residents rely on the water tankers driving around the town for water supply the narrow streets of the city look like parking lots due to the increasing number of cars on the road. Public transportation is virtually non-existent and health care is another major challenge that is not being addressed.
2. Conakry, Guinea
Conakry, the capital city of Guinea has an estimated population of about two million inhabitants. Conakry is the primary administrative, communication, and economic center of the country. The economy of the city involves handling and storing cargoes, exportation of bananas and also alumina. Manufactured products here include; food products and housing materials. The country’s GDP is put at $5.6 billion, so the capital city is relatively poor. Public transport is a rarity which highlights one of the major challenges inhibiting the city’s development. Ethnic discrimination also affects the city. Due to ethnic divisions, the country is developing slowly as it is still affected by its war-torn history.
3. Antananarivo, Madagascar
Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar is the major political, economic, educational and cultural center of the country. It ranks as the 3rd poorest city on the continent. It is the seat of all arms of government in the country. The most active sector in the country is the Agricultural sector as crops are cultivated and livestock is reared. Transportation in the city is poor and the existing infrastructures are inadequate. The poverty in the city and in the entire country as well is blamed on the economic policies of the country with political tensions slowing the rate of progress of the country.
4. Bamako, Mali
4th on this list is the capital city of Mali. Bamako is home to an estimated 1.4 million inhabitants. Textiles, processed meat, and metals are all manufactured in the city. The downtown area of Bamako is highly overcrowded, polluted and expensive.
5. Niamey, Niger
Niamey, the capital city of the Republic of Niger is the 5th poorest city in Africa. Niamey holds the administrative, cultural and economic keys of Niger. Niamey is progressing slowly and is one of the poorest cities in the world currently. The population of the city is escalating leading to an increase in crime rates like drug smuggling, kidnapping, terrorism and also violations of women’s rights. Terrorist group Al Qaeda has set foot in the area.
6. Lusaka, Zambia
6th on this list is Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. The city has been considered as one of the fastest growing cities in the Southern Africa region. The city has a poor level of natural assets, poor infrastructure and housing, pollution and low standard of living for the average citizen, Lusaka is clearly one of the poorest and worst cities of the world to live in. Life expectancy in the city is put at 56 years due to the harsh living conditions in the country. Also, there is a high level of HIV/AIDS infection rate among residents.
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Dar es Salaam, the largest town in Tanzania is also the most populated city in Eastern Africa. The city is the major arts, fashion, music, media, and film and television center in the entire country. It is also the most prominent city for business and governance. The town has an overwhelming 70 percent of informal settlers. This rapid increase of the population of the city has led to several negatives. Naturally, overcrowding tends to cause diseases, more so as the people have no access to clean water and proper sanitation facilities. Gender discrimination and also sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS are some of the major problems in the city.
8. Harare, Zimbabwe
Harare, the capital city and the most populous city in Zimbabwe is the 8th poorest city in Africa. It is the major financial, commercial, and communication hub in the country. Visitors to the city will observe that the city is filled with high-rise buildings making it look developed and distinct compared to other African cities but slum areas have grown as the population increased by 17 percent. Constant outbreaks of typhoid fever have been the biggest problem in Harare in addition to the shortage of water.
9. Dakar, Senegal
9th on this list is Dakar in Senegal. It is the major administrative seat of the country and it also plays host to the Senegalese National Assembly as well as the Presidential Palace. There are well over 1 million residents in Dakar. Economic activities carried out in Dakar include; fishing, cotton, and agriculture. Availability of clean water supply is a major concern in this city as well as political instability in the entire West African region.
10. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The 10th poorest City in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The city was founded in 1886. The city is the largest and capital of Ethiopia with a population of well over 3,384,569 residents. This city is often referred to as the political capital of Africa due to its historical, diplomatic and political importance for the African continent. It is important to say that the city is slowly booming with its economy, it however still has a long way to go. So many distinct economic activities such as trade and commerce, manufacturing and industry, homemaking of different variety, civil administration, transport and communication, education, health, and social services, hotel and catering services, and agriculture are carried out in this city. Some rural areas of the city are involved in animal husbandry as well as gardening. New constructions and establishments high rise buildings can be seen in this city. Addis Ababa is also referred to as the spa capital of Africa. The city, however, has no standardized transport system and the major problem hindering the development of the city is a shortage of water.
There are several factors that are looked at in coming up with this list:
- The level of infrastructural development is one. Most of the cities on this list have a very obvious low level of infrastructural development.
- The roads are bad and barely motorable, there is virtually no public transport system in most of them.
- Also, there are economic challenges.
- The GDPs of the countries where these cities are located are some of the lowest on the continent.
- There is a well-documented lack of access to basic amenities such as power and water. Most of these cities have no water supply system so residents have to rely on private water suppliers for their daily household water use.
- Also, the power situation in most of these countries is appalling. The power supply is epileptic and some areas in these cities do not even get power at all.
- There are also not enough basic health facilities to cater for the health needs of residents of these cities.
- The effect of overcrowding in some of the cities is stressing badly the existing facilities which are not even in good shape.
- Diseases such as typhoid and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS are ravaging these cities.
All these factors combine to lower the living standards of residents of these cities and ranks these cities low when compared to other cities in Africa.
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CONCLUSION ON THE TOP 10
These are the poorest of the major cities in Africa where residents living way below the poverty line. The living standards of people living in these cities are so low that access to basic amenities such as potable water is not put in place. Residents have to struggle to get by every day. Although things are changing slowly in these cities, there is still a long way to go before the administrators of these cities can be congratulated for a job well done.
Tag: Poorest Cities In Africa