Tuesday, November 29, 2011

African Cities facing threats from rapid Urban population increase

By Eliakim Mwachoni

World population now exceeds 7 billion, and the United Nations has estimated that, by 2050, that number will reach 9 billion.

In Africa, where there are many developing countries, current population exceeds 1 billion and estimated to reach 2 billion by 2050.

Large increase in people has increased labour market, and thus African countries are now facing biggest challenges in food security, education, health and employment.
Currently the population of Africa is increasing by 2.3 percent per year, which is higher than that of 1 percent in Asia.

The increase in the number of people in countries of south Sahara is much larger than the North African country.

The results of the census conducted by the ministry of planning in Kenya shows , that Kenya's population between 1999 to 2009 has increased by 35 percent, where on average each woman bore five children, and every day 7, 150 children are born.

According to this increase, the population of Kenya will exceed 80 million by 2050.
Large numbers of Africans are young, and they will be more moderate as days move. Meanwhile, the urban population is increasing rapidly.

According to history, the expansion and globalization of cities and an increasing number of people brings progress, because it helps increase the production capacity and expand the market and demand, which would be very helpful for people in rural areas.

But an increasing number of people also poses a clear challenge. While the number of people increase faster, it increases activity, consistent with the requirements of natural resources.

Problems of food insecurity and environmental degradation continues to be negative.

The African continent has a large number of poor people, and 25 percent dependent on imported food from abroad.

Irrigated agriculture is not implemented in many places because of lack of irrigation system, so agriculture in many countries in Africa depends on the weather.

And that's just too easy to influence and natural disasters of drought and floods.
This year the countries of the Horn of Africa including Somalia, Ethiopia has been both affected by drought, and residents of the river basins of the Zambezi and Senegal are facing the threat of flooding.

To fulfill the goal of independence in food production and ensure sustainable economic development, African countries need to develop modern agriculture, improve productivity in the agricultural sector, and the capacity of governments in dealing with climate change.

They also need to have good communication and marketing of agricultural products.

Fulfilling these objectives requires a lot of money and expertise.

Meanwhile, the capacity of urban managers in the provision of housing, infrastructure and employment opportunities does not meet the needs of growing numbers of cities in the world.

This problem is complicated by a confusion over the African countries with weak economic foundation and a large increase in people.

Some of the governments of African countries has recognised the effect of increasing excess of population, and have enacted policies to achieve a balance between population growth and economic and social development.

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