In a new report titled: “Into Africa: The continent’s cities of opportunity”, Global auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC’s has ranked African cities based on infrastructure, human capital, economics, society and demographics. This ranking puts more attention on dynamic and focused cities that helps governments, businesses and citizens improve their economies and quality of life.
CEO of PwC Nigeria, Uyi Akpata, stated: “In 2030 half of the population will live in cities in Africa where economic activity and growth will be focused and which will become communication centers and hubs for social trends. This presents a major challenge to local authorities, city governments and also for businesses.”
The top five cities, according to the ranking, are Cairo, Tunis, Johannesburg, Casablanca and Algiers. The preponderance of North African cities is explained by their longevity, which has allowed for the development of their infrastructure and human capital over time.
Lagos ranked 7th in the overall rankings and was identified as a regional hub for culture, especially for music and also as the destination for African biggest cinema (Nollywood). It was also listed as one of the top 5 cities that are conspicuous sites for investment at the moment along with Dar es Salaam, Lusaka, Nairobi, and Accra.
“Infrastructure and human capital take time to develop but are often critical to success. Cities like Lagos which are upcoming fast developing opportunity cities face significant human capital and infrastructure challenges which limit their economics. The role of the public sector policy makers (and related development of institutions) in guiding a city is important to the private sector. The building blocks are infrastructure, human capital and also security. Where these are in place, culture and society starts to flourish,” Akpata said.
The attractiveness of cities on the continent is sometimes stronger than the country itself, and the cities, which are performing well are those that have succeeded with the challenge of diversifying their economy and creating an ecosystem conducive for the middle class to grow.