African Urbanisation and Urbanism: Implications for risk accumulation and reduction

The purpose of this background paper is to describe recent trends in African urban centres, review potential future trajectories of these, and examine their possible implications for risk accumulation and risk reduction.  This paper examines the multiple dimensions of the changing nature of urban centres in Africa, going beyond “urbanisation” to look at the broader dimensions of Africa’s “urban revolution” (Parnell and Pieterse 2014). It focuses primarily on sub-Saharan Africa, although many of the conclusions are relevant for the entire continent – and, indeed, for urban centres in low-income countries more generally.