AFRICAPOLIS: Urbanization study in West Africa
The AFRICAPOLIS study provides an important knowledge update on urbanization inWest Africa . It is supported by AFD ( Africa department) and coordinated by SEDET (Developing Societies in Space and Time) teams (CNRS/ Université Paris Diderot).
The project is innovative and ambitious. It crosses demographic data, lists of cities, satellite pictures, identifies inhabited areas and integrates West Africa into a global cities database (e-Geopolis). Maps and results from this geostatistical approach make a marked improvement on the way African urbanization is usually interpreted, such as can be seen with UN statistics. They highlight modes of urbanization that development partners need to know about: from a “metropolization from the top”, urban sprawl in major cities, to an “urbanization from the bottom”, which results from the gradual slowing down of the rural exodus against a backdrop of strong demographic pressure. Summary of main results.