Cities in Africa are growing fast. Over the past 50 years, the continent’s urban population has doubled, from 19 per cent to 39 per cent; and by 2030 that population is expected to almost double again.
As a result, projects across the continent are springing up to meet the new wave of urban dwellers. Here are a few developments to watch out for in 2015.
A brand-new metro system
Testing has started on the US$475m light rail project in Addis Ababa, expected to be running by May 2015. Stretching for a combined 32km, two lines dividing Addis Ababa north-south and east-west will serve 39 stations in underground and overground sections.
The Al Noor Tower is a 114-floor skyscraper planned for the Moroccan city of Casablanca. At 540m, it’s set to be the tallest in Africa and will cost over $1bn to construct.
The final height is meant to act as a tribute to the 54 countries that make up the African continent, and the mixed-use building would house a seven-star luxury hotel, art gallery, spa, fine-dining restaurants and luxury boutiques, alongside an exhibition centre and offices.
Kenya has officially given the go-ahead for a giant wind farm in the Lake Turkana region. The farm will play host to almost 400 turbines, is expected to produce around 300 MW of electricity, and according to a media statement will save Kenya approximately $78m in fuel imports every year. The project aims to produce 20 per cent of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity when it comes online in 2016.
This will be a wind farm soon, we promise. Image: Lake Turkana Wind Power.
The fastest-growing city
Work begins on a Dar es Salaam highrise in April 2014. Image: Getty.
In a recent report, the African Development Bank predicted that Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, will be Africa’s fastest growing city between 2010 and 2025, growing from 3.3 million to 6.2 million people – an 85 per cent increase. Nairobi, Kenya, and Kinshasa, DRC, are expected to be the second and third fastest growing cities by 2025, at 77.3 per cent and 71.8 per cent respectively.
A city built from scratch
Work has started on a “new city” in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, which is expected to cost around 84bn South African rand ($7bn). Improbably, it’s expected to look like this:
A city of giant pimples.Image: Shanghai Zendai Property.
According to The Business Report, so far they’ve started small with construction on 300 residential units and a few roads.
Rashiq Fataar is the founder, Editor in Chief and Managing Director of Future Cape Town, where this article was first posted.
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