As we know, Africa has many problems. One issue not written about all that much is urbanisation on the continent. According to UN Habitat, urbanisation is one of the biggest challenges facing African countries. Currently two-thirds of Africa's urban population live in informal settlements without adequate sanitation, water, transport or health services. At current levels of urbanisation and with distinct variations across regions, an average of 70% of the urban population in subSaharan Africa has traded a rural lifestyle for life in the city.
More than half of Africa's estimated 750-million people will be living in cities within the next 20 years. The combined population of African cities will double in the next 14 to 18 years. At least 200-million additional people are expected to move to Africa's cities. An estimated 187 million Africans are accommodated in slums, just 19 percent have access to running water, and only 7.5 percent are connected to a sewerage system.
Not only is housing and service provision a problem, but the major African cities are also battling with inner city decay and generally trying to improve the state of city buildings. Concerning city betterment programmes, an unfortunate trend has started to emerge in many African countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Municipalities decide to upgrade an area, and then evict thousands of people, often on short notice, without bothering to provide alternative housing.
Lagos in Nigeria, is the latest city to come under criticism from Amnesty International for carrying out such policies. Sapa has the story.
"Police broke down the gate of a huge housing complex to oust thousands of civil servants and their families last Friday in the latest mass eviction by a government struggling to gain control of its chaotic and crowded cities. Police officials were not available for comment on the evictions, but Umma Muhammed, a spokeswoman for tenants of 1 004 Residences, said the move followed a decision by the government to sell off several of its properties in a privatisation scheme. Authorities have not provided the estimated 8 000 residents with other accommodation."