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There Are Approximately Two Billion Square Metres of New City Projects in Africa

Private developers and governments across Africa are backing over two billion square metres of land reclamation and new city projects, costing over $514bn, to cater to the region’s growing urban centres according to Estate Intel’s Africa’s New Cities 2023 Factsheet.

North Africa has emerged as the leading region accounting for 88% of planned new city developments across Africa, followed by West Africa at 5.5% and East Africa at 3%.

This distribution has been attributed to increased government commitments to ensure quality living and infrastructure in the face of rising urban populations.

Notably, in terms of the top five countries in new city developments, Egypt emerged as the leading country accounting for 33%, this was followed by Nigeria (17.9%), Mauritius (8.9%), Ghana (7.1%) and Kenya (5.4%).

New City Developments in Africa, Key Figures

Estate intel

Source: Estate Intel 

Dapo Runsewe, Senior Analyst at Estate Intel noted that the development of these new cities is due to rapid urbanisation causing overcrowded cities, straining infrastructure and available resources without adequate affordable housing options amid rising poverty levels.

As such, these cities provide an opportunity for developers and the government to create more liveable and connected cities with better infrastructure.

Overall,the demand for planned cities is high across the continent, with at least one conceptual  city being introduced in 10 African countries. For instance, cities such as New Administrative Capital in Egypt, Konza city in Kenya and Diamniadio city in Senegal are expected to present a new face of African cities that is more sustainable, smart and efficient.

Notably, these cities are almost equally funded in the distribution between government and the private sector with government funding accounting for approximately 48% of the funding while the private sector funding accounted for 46%.

“New city developments in Africa hold great promise for promoting economic growth, improving living standards, and addressing the continent’s urbanization challenges.” Dapo noted  “Overall, the successful development of new cities in Africa will require a collaborative and coordinated effort among governments, private sector actors, civil society organizations, and local communities. With the right policies and frameworks in place, new city developments in Africa have the potential to be a key driver of economic growth, social development, and environmental sustainability for the region in the years to come.” He concluded.

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