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African cities with high growth potential unveiled




Accra, Lusaka and Luanda, the capital cities of Ghana, Zambia and Angola respectively, have been identified as the Sub-Saharan African cities that have the highest potential for growth over the next five years, according to the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index.

Accra, Lusaka and Luanda, the capital cities of Ghana, Zambia and Angola respectively, have been identified as the Sub-Saharan African cities that have the highest potential for growth over the next five years, according to the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index.

MasterCard have just released their African cities growth index, produced by Professor George Angelopulo of the University of South Africa and Professor George Roger of the University of Cape Town.

“Accra, Lusaka and Luanda, the capital cities of Ghana, Zambia and Angola respectively, have been identified as the Sub-Saharan African cities that have the highest potential for growth over the next five years” according to Mastercard.

The MasterCard African Cities Growth Index was developed in the final quarter of 2012 and analysed 19 cities across Sub-Saharan Africa ranking them according to their growth potential between 2012 and 2017.

The Index rankings were developed from published historical and projected data on typical factors that impact cities’ growth rates, including: economic data, governance levels, ease of doing business, infrastructure and human development factors, and population growth levels.

According to the the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the urban population of Africa is expected to triple by 2050 to 1.23 billion (from 395 million in 2009), by which time 60% of all Africans will be living in cities or urban areas.

“This growth in urbanization, combined with the fact that the center of global economic gravity is shifting to dynamic emerging markets such as those found in Africa, means that the continent’s cities will play a much bigger role in driving the economic growth of their respective countries,” said Michael Miebach, president, MasterCard Middle East and Africa.

Cities in Africa with the highest growth potential

1. Accra, Ghana
2. Lusaka, Zambia
3. Luanda, Angola
4. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
5. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
6. Nairobi, Kenya
7. Kampala,  Uganda
8. Johannesburg, South Africa
9. Kinshasa, DRC
10. Durban, South Africa
11. Cape Town,  South Africa
12. Mombasa, Kenya
13. Lagos, Nigeria
14. Abuja,  Nigeria
15. Dakar, Senegal
16. Harare, Zimbabwe
17. Kano, Nigeria
18. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
19.  Khartoum, Sudan

Source: Mastercard http://newsroom.mastercard.com/press-releases/mastercard-study-reveals-african-cities-economic-growth-potential/

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Rashiq Fataar

Founder and MD at Future Cape Town

Rashiq Fataar is the founder, Editor in Chief and Managing Director of Future Cape Town.




  • Very interesting index – I think the focus on cities instead of countries is a far more useful and valid model, taking into account the gap between rural and urban areas in terms of development, economy and infrastructure. Good to see strong growth points outside South Africa, which will add depth and new opportunities for both business and workers on the continent.

    • Rashiq Fataar

      Thanks Alan. Yes, more and more, economic growth from current sources and future sources, will emanate from these urban areas. I think the growth points outside of South Africa will add to the diversity of investment opportunities across Africa, which should (but not necessarily) prompt South Africa and its cities to work harder.