Why is data important for African cities?
By 2050, Africa will more than double its current population and will remain the world’s youngest region, with a median age of under 25 years old.
Africa’s growth will concentrate in cities, whose populations, over three decades, will increase by 800 million people – the equivalent of the entire urban population of Europe and North America. To a very real extent, the world’s future depends on the trajectory of Africa’s cities and their youthful populations.
This rapid, youthful urban growth presents both opportunities and challenges. The opportunities lie in reaping the demographic dividends of the youth bulge in African cities, but that will require city leaders to act decisively to create the conditions for sustainable growth. Such decisive actions can only be effective and transformative if they are informed by evidence. A robust research platform, including a comprehensive urban governance database, is therefore necessary for supporting visionary city leadership in Africa, disseminating learnings amongst cities, and eliminating information bottlenecks.
The AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab will fill this gap by providing mayors and other policymakers with the research support and data analytics they need to transform African cities. Specifically, mayors participating in the AMALI City Leadership Programme will have access to synthesised desktop data on their cities and will be supported by the Lab’s researchers to fill data gaps and to analyse interventions tied to the mayors’ visions. In addition, city leaders and other stakeholders will have access to a public online database on African cities that will provide in-depth data on city governance and leadership structures; city demographics; urban development and infrastructure data; socio-economic data; human development indicators; and environmental data.