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Africa's urban transition and the role of regional collaboration

Africa is in the midst of an urban transition, and getting this transition right is critical. Over the next ten years, Africa’s urban population is projected to increase by over 150 million. Economic difficulties may reduce rural–urban migration, but Africa’s towns and cities are not ready to accommodate anything like this many new residents.

It is tempting for governments to respond to this challenge by trying to discourage rural–urban migration. This report argues that the challenge is not to curb urbanization, but to seize the opportunities it provides, while curbing the inequalities and environmental burdens that market-driven or poorly planned urbanization can bring. Successful urban development is locally driven, but a successful urban transition requires national support and regional collaboration. It is regional collaboration, involving urban centres in at least two different countries, that is the particular concern of this report.

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