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From Ghana to Zambia: 31 African cities to exceed 5m people by 2040

According to a recent McKinsey report, by 2040, there will be 31 cities in Africa with populations in excess of five million. Over the next 20 years, more than 500 million people are expected to move to African cities, making it the continent with the largest urban population globally.

By 2040, the continent will feature 12 metropolises each with populations exceeding ten million, as ten more cities join the ranks of Cairo and Lagos. Furthermore, there will be 19 cities with populations ranging from five to ten million, indicating an increase of nine such cities from today’s numbers.

These 31 large cities will be dispersed throughout the continent. Over the past decade, 24 of these locations experienced a GDP growth rate that outpaced their respective countries’ overall growth. When calculated as a weighted average, the GDP of these 31 cities grew by 4% compared to their national averages of 3.2% and the continent-wide average of 3.3% over the same period. What follows is a list of these 31 cities, ranked according to their GDP growth from 2010 to 2019.

1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Average city GDP growth (2010 to 2019): 9.5%
Average country GDP growth (2010 to 2019): 9.1%

2. Kumasi, Ghana
Average city GDP growth: 8.0%
Average country GDP growth: 7.1%

3. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Average city GDP growth: 7.9%
Average country GDP growth: 6.6%

4. Accra, Ghana
Average city GDP growth: 7.9%
Average country GDP growth: 7.1%

5. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Average city GDP growth: 7.8%
Average country GDP growth: 5.7%

6. Khartoum, Sudan
Average city GDP growth: 7.3%
Average country GDP growth: 3.1%

7. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Average city GDP growth: 7.3%
Average country GDP growth: 6.5%

8. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Average city GDP growth: 7.2%
Average country GDP growth: 6.1%

9. Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Average city GDP growth: 6.8%
Average country GDP growth: 6.1%

10. Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Average city GDP growth: 6.4%
Average country GDP growth: 6.1%

11. Lusaka, Zambia
Average city GDP growth: 6.0%
Average country GDP growth: 4.3%

12. Mogadishu, Somalia
Average city GDP growth: 5.7%
Average country GDP growth: 4.4%

13. Abuja, Nigeria
Average city GDP growth: 5.7%
Average country GDP growth: 3.0%

14. Bamako, Mali
Average city GDP growth: 5.6%
Average country GDP growth: 6.9%

15. Kampala, Uganda
Average city GDP growth: 5.5%
Average country GDP growth: 5.3%

16. Yaoundé, Cameroon
Average city GDP growth: 5.4%
Average country GDP growth: 4.6%

17. Nairobi, Kenya
Average city GDP growth: 5.3%
Average country GDP growth: 5.1%

18. Douala, Cameroon
Average city GDP growth: 5.2%
Average country GDP growth: 4.6%

19. Casablanca, Morocco
Average city GDP growth: 4.8%
Average country GDP growth: 3.4%

20. Dakar, Senegal
Average city GDP growth: 4.7%
Average country GDP growth: 5.2%

21. Onitsha, Nigeria
Average city GDP growth: 4.6%
Average country GDP growth: 3.0%

22. Antananarivo, Madagascar
Average city GDP growth: 4.4%
Average country GDP growth: 3.2%

23. Cairo, Egypt
Average city GDP growth: 4.0%
Average country GDP growth: 3.8%

24. Alexandria, Egypt
Average city GDP growth: 3.6%
Average country GDP growth: 3.8%

25. Lagos, Nigeria
Average city GDP growth: 3.1%
Average country GDP growth: 3.0%

26. Ibadan, Nigeria
Average city GDP growth: 2.4%
Average country GDP growth: 3.0%

27. Algiers, Algeria
Average city GDP growth: 2.3%
Average country GDP growth: 2.6%

28. Kano, Nigeria
Average city GDP growth: 2.2%
Average country GDP growth: 3.0%

29. Johannesburg, South Africa
Average city GDP growth: 2.0%
Average country GDP growth: 1.6%

30. Cape Town, South Africa
Average city GDP growth: 1.7%
Average country GDP growth: 1.6%

31. Luanda, Angola
Average city GDP growth: 1.3%
Average country GDP growth: 1.9%

Source: How we made it in Africa