2groups in a society, they are also arenas or defningnational identity and testing the state’s capacity tobalance the demands o competing political com-munities. The high population densities o urbanareas, moreover, acilitate political mobilization andchallenges to national power. The resulting politi-cal unrest poses a direct threat to the stability o Arican states.The security ramiications o urban povertyare o growing importance since, by 2025, the ma-jority o the poor in Arica will live in urban asopposed to rural areas—reversing a longstandingpattern. In many countries, moreover, the poorest20 percent in urban slums have worse human de-velopment indicators than the poorest 20 percentin rural areas.
This, in turn, ampliies susceptibil-ity to poverty-induced instability, including thespread o disease and ood shortages. It is estimatedthat 300 million urban Aricans will be withoutsanitation by 2020. Roughly 225 million will nothave access to potable water. These risks were il-lustrated in the 2007–2008 urban riots in BurkinaFaso, Cameroon, Senegal, and Mauritania, amongother Arican countries, whichbroke out in re-sponse to rising prices o ood, clothes, and gaso-line. In the process, government buildings weredestroyed and many people injured. With oodprices once again rising rapidly, these tensions arelikely to resurace.Despite these mounting stresses, national andinternational actors have invested relatively littlein urban development, livelihoods, governance, orprograms to help stem the volume o urban migra-tion. These changing demographics, however, willundamentally reshape the Arican security environ-ment or decades to come.
CURRENT URBANIZATION TRENDS
Arica is in a historic period o demographicchange. In the early 1990s, two-thirds o all Aricanslived in rural areas. By 2025, more than hal o theArican population will live in urban areas. And dur-ing the next quarter century, the urban populationwill grow almost twice as ast as the general popu-lation, increasing by more than hal a billion rom1990 levels.Worldwide, urban population levels o roughly3.3 billion are projected to double by 2050. TheArican urban population, however, is expected tomore than double its current level o 373 millionby 2030 (see igure 1.1). That is, by 2030 therewill be 760 million Arican urban dwellers, morethan the total number o city dwellers in the entireWestern hemisphere today. The East Arica regionhas the world’s shortest projected urban populationdoubling time at less than 9 years: rom 50.6 mil-lion today to an estimated 106.7 million by 2017(see fgure 1.2).Arica’s three giant urban agglomerations, Cairo,Kinshasa, and Lagos, continue to rise rapidly in theirranking among the world’s largest metropolitan re-gions. In 2007, the urban metropolis o Cairo had11.9 million inhabitants, Lagos 9.6 million, and Kin-shasa 7.8 million. In 2015, Cairo will have 13.4 mil-lion, Lagos 12.4 million, and Kinshasa 11.3 millioninhabitants—ranking 11
, and 19
, respectively,among the world’s largest metropolitan regions. Pro-jections show that Kinshasa, with 16.7 million inhab-itants, will be Arica’s largest urban agglomerationin 2025.
While Arica has the world’s highest rate o urbanization, it also has among the lowest rates o urban economic growth. Accordingly, urbanizationin Arica has diered rom other regions o the worldin important respects. In other regions, urbaniza-tion ollowed jobs—created as a result o increasedinvestment and economic activity generated romthe agriculture sector. In Arica, there has been con-sistent underinvestment in agriculture leading to lowproductivity gains. This has limited the availability
Dr. Stephen Commins is a Lecturer in the Departmento Urban Planning at the University o Caliornia, LosAngeles, School o Public Aairs.
“the security ramifcations o urbanpoverty are o growing importancesince, by 2025, the majority o thepoor in Arica will live in urban asopposed to rural areas”