Top 25 Largest and Fastest Growing Cities in Africa

The population and urbanization rate in Africa are rising simultaneously. This leads to the expansion of existing cities and the emergence of new urban areas. The population of Africa is expected to double by 2050 and to reach more than 2 billion people.

According to the research of the World Economic Forum, the fastest growing cities in Africa are Lagos, Kinshasa, Cairo, Luanda and Nairobi.

Below you can find the list of the top 25 largest African cities in terms of population and growth rate.

Table of Contents

Lagos, Nigeria - 21 Million

Lagos, Nigeria City View

Lagos is located in the Western Coast of Nigeria and it is the most populous city in Nigeria. Lagos is the financial and business center of Nigeria with more than 20 million population. Lagos is also home of the largest port of Nigeria.

Cairo, Egypt - 20.5 Million

Cairo, Egypt - Africa City View

Cairo is the capital of Egypt. It is one of the largest cities in Africa with more than 20 million people living in the urban area. Cairo is located near the Nile Delta, in the center of Egypt. The city is renowned for its historic culture dating back to Ancient Egypt. It is an important hub for business, finance and trade.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - 14.3 Million

Kinshasa, DR Congo - Africa City View

Kinshasa is located alongside the Congo River and it is facing Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The city is the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The economy of DRC is heavily dependent on Kinshasa. The official language is French.

Giza, Egypt - 8.8 Million

Giza, Egypt - Africa City View

Giza is located alongside the Nile River and it is very close to Cairo. The pyramids are located very close to the city center. It is an important hub for tourism and trade.

Luanda, Angola - 8.4 Million

Luanda, Angola - Africa City View

Luanda is the capital of Angola, it is also the largest city in the country. The Port of Luanda contributes greatly to the city economy. The government and headquarters of major companies are located in the city.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - 6 Million

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Africa City View

Dar es Salaam is the largest city of Tanzania with a population of more than 6 million people. Although the capital is Dodoma, many government offices and embassies are located in Dar es Salaam. The Port of Dar es Salaam acts as the main contributor to the city economy. The city grows thanks to the import, distribution, export and trade activities.

Johannesburg, South Africa - 5.8 Million

Johannesburg, South Africa - Africa City View

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the financial heart of the country. Most of the international companies and banks are located in the city. The city hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is home of the University of Johannesburg and University of Witwatersrand.

Khartoum, Sudan - 5.3 Million

Khartoum, Sudan - Africa City View

Khartoum is the capital of Sudan. Khartoum is located at the merge of Nile River. The city is the home of banking, trade and manufacturing activities in Sudan.

Alexandria, Egypt - 5.2 Million

Alexandria, Egypt - Africa City View

Alexandria is a coastal city on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a touristic destination. Also, the city has a developed industry thanks to natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast - 4.8 Million

Abidjan Cote D'ivoire - Africa City View

Abidjan is the business capital of Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire). It is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The city is growing very rapidly and the population is expected to pass 6 million in the next 10 years.

Cape Town, South Africa - 4.6 Million

Cape Town, South Africa - Africa City View

Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa. The economy of the city heavily relies on tourism. The attractions are Cape Floristic Region, Table Mountain and Cape Point.

Nairobi, Kenya - 4.4 Million

Nairobi, Kenya - Africa City View

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya. Many companies and international organizations are headquartered in Kenya. United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) are located in the city.

Casablanca, Morocco - 4.2 Million

Casablanca, Morocco - Africa City View

Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. It is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Casablanca is located near the city and it is one of the largest ports in the world. The city is renowned for its historic landmarks.

Accra, Ghana - 4.2 Million

Accra, Ghana - Africa City View

Accra is the capital of Ghana and it is the most populated city. The ministries, banks, corporations and non-governmental organizations are located in the city. The city is very close to the Tema Port.

Algiers, Algeria - 3.9 Million

Algiers, Algeria - Africa City View

Algiers is the largest city in Algeria and it is the capital city. The city is located on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the economic capital of Algeria.

Kano, Nigeria - 3.9 Million

Kano, Nigeria City View

Kano is the second-largest city in Nigeria and it is the economic heart of Northern Nigeria. The city is developing very fast and it offers many investment and business opportunities, especially  in the construction sector.

Douala, Cameroon - 3.7 Million

Douala, Cameroon - Africa City View

Douala is located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest city and the economic heart of Cameroon. The port in Douala serves to neighboring states: Gabon, Congo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Cameroon.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - 3.4 Million

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Africa City View

The headquarters of the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa are located in Addis Ababa. The city is the capital of Ethiopia and the largest city in the country. It is referred to as the political capital as Africa. The city has a vibrant cultural and economic life.

Durban, South Africa- 3.4 Million

Durban, South Africa - Africa City View

Durban is the third-largest city in South Africa. It is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The city has a vibrant business life thanks to the Port of Durban.

Kumasi, Ghana - 3.3 Million

Kumasi, Ghana- Africa City View

Kumasi is a historic metropolitan city in Ghana. The city was the capital of the Ashanti Empire. The city is the second populous city in Ghana and it has a busy economic life.

Lusaka, Zambia - 2.5 Million

Lusaka, Zambia - Africa City View

Lusaka is the most populous city in Zambia and it serves as the capital. The city is the headquarter of many corporations, financial services firms and government agencies.

Bamako, Mali - 2.4 Million

Bamako, Mali - Africa City View

Bamako is the capital of Mali. It is the largest city. There are textiles, processed meat, and metal goods factories and mining activities in the city.

Mogadishu, Somalia - 2.4 Million

Mogadishu, Somalia - Africa City View

Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia. It has an important port on the Indian Ocean. The city is known for import, export, manufacturing and distribution activities thanks to the logistics advantage of the port.

Conakry, Guinea - 1.7 Million

Conakry, Guinea - Africa City View

Conakry is located on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the capital of Guinea and the largest city. The city is the cultural and economic center of Guinea.

Kampala, Uganda - 1.6 Million

Kampala, Uganda - Africa City View

Kampala is the capital of Uganda. The population of Uganda is growing rapidly with an annual population increase rate of 4%. It ranks high on the living indexes.

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