Assessment of Urbanization Data in Africa

Assessment of Urbanization Data in Africa

The importance of urbanization as a driver for inclusive growth and structural transformation in Africa is now well recognized at the global, regional and national levels. At the global level, the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on cities and human settlements in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a major milestone. At the regional level, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda both emphasize the role of urbanization in Africa’s vision for transformation. Furthermore, the Common African Position on the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat–III), endorsed by Heads of State in July 2016, consolidates the region’s commitment to harness urbanization as a driver of transformation. At the national level, progress has been made in African countries to develop policies and strategies that would harness the urbanization process for development. The achievement of such urbanization-related targets will require robust data and statistics for the monitoring and implementation of related policies and strategies. A key objective of the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA’s) urbanization programme is to support member States in strengthening their urban data and statistics needs for effective policy formulation, implementation and monitoring. The experience varies across the countries on the continent. A lot has depended on the priority each Government has attached to the various sets of urban statistics and hence its willingness to allocate personnel and other resources to their production, over the long term.

This assessment presents the outcomes of the state of urban statistics in Africa, with a view to guiding member States in collecting and analysing urban statistics within the framework of Africa’s Priorities and Vision, Agenda 2063, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals). The assessment will strengthen the urban development indicators in the 2020 World Population and Housing Census Programme, and also strengthen standardization of urban definitions and concepts prescribed in the third revision of the Africa Addendum to the Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses.