Colorful houses in Cape Town, Africa

L’urbanisation, opportunité majeure pour l’Afrique

CAPE TOWN/NEW YORK – Les perspectives de l'Afrique pour les trente prochaines années seront en grande partie déterminées par la capacité du continent à bien gérer son urbanisation rapide. Bien qu'il s'agisse d'un défi de taille, la mise en œuvre d'une approche adaptée pourrait propulser l'Afrique vers un avenir plus stable et plus prospère.

Au cours des trois prochaines décennies, quelque 22 millions de personnes gagneront chaque année les villes d’Afrique. D'ici 2050, la population urbaine africaine devrait atteindre 1,34 milliard d'individus – chiffre trois fois supérieur à celui de 2010. Bien que l'urbanisation s'opère plus rapidement dans l'est et l'ouest de l'Afrique – étant par exemple prévu que la population de Lagos, plus grande ville du Nigeria, s'élève à 25 millions d'habitants d'ici 15 ans – le phénomène s'observe dans toutes les régions du continent.

S'il parvient à intégrer ces nouveaux résidents urbains, le continent pourra espérer en tirer des avantages considérables. La main-d'œuvre est généralement plus productive au sein des villes, de même que la concentration d'individus dans l'espace urbain génère des marchés et économies d'échelle dans le domaine des services. L'espoir consiste à voir les économies africaines – jusqu'à présent axées sur les matières premières – tirer parti de ce même « dividende urbain » dont ont profité l'Europe, l'Amérique du Nord et du Sud, ainsi que l'Asie de l'Est au cours de leur phase respective d'urbanisation.

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