Sub-Saharan Africa's current population is over the 1 billion mark, with 70% under 30; the population is supposed to double over the next 20 years. By 2100 13 of the world's 20 biggest megacities will be in Africa, and the metropolises on the continent will house a working population larger than that of China and India. Johannesburg, Lagos, and Kinshasa already feature on the list of global megacities.
Cities are undergoing rapid urban population growth giving rise to upgrading and reconstruct their physical environment. Urgent urban interventions are needed to capitalize on the economies of scale to boost the cities' efficiency and productivity and make them attractive for capital investment.
The post-colonial planning apparatus has fast become obsolete; it did not foresee the radical expansion that is taking place today; this has further entrenched the segregation of the satellite towns from the well-equipped city centers today due to lack of affordable transport and high labor cost. With very little effective planning and rise in flash urbanization, the urbanization of cities in the South-Sahara is taking shape in a somewhat "informal" manner giving rise to congestion and squatters. The term "informal" is not considered in its representation but instead comes to light due to the mere lack of government control. If well understood and appropriated, African informality can enrich the cultures and urban environments of the cities of the future.
Work for it
IMFSAC will endeavor to be thought leaders in the sphere of metropolitan discipline from an African context, as the peculiarities we face differ from other parts of the world.
We aim to put together experts in metropolitan regions to find common solutions and advise multilateral to employ correct methods to distribute funding and development assistance.
We will build new ideas of cities through the relationship between the physical and the environment and through different ideas and approaches of power and governance, especially by engaging African women.
We will collaborate with local firms and professionals interested in promoting African urban development to bid for multilateral-funded projects.
The metropolitan discipline will be framed through a collaborative effort with local universities. A work of advocacy with African universities (big or small) will be done to find professors, scholars, and lecturers to join IMF and assist us in understanding their countries better. The discipline must be shared between the professional, civic servants, decision-makers, and academia.