Sub-Saharan Africa is bustling with progress. Having grown rapidly over the last ten years, the region is beginning to develop more robust manufacturing and service industries and is now home to a flourishing middle class. Over the same period, Africa has seen commendable social and political change, exemplified by improvements in human indicators and a dramatic increase in the number of free and fair elections. The region’s major challenge will be to ensure these advances benefit the many.

The number of Africans living in urban centers is expected to grow from 36 percent in 2010 to 50 percent by 2030 (World Bank). African cities face enormous challenges in meeting basic infrastructure needs, upgrading urban settlements, integrating migrants from rural areas, fostering social cohesion, and providing employment opportunities for a burgeoning population.

UNDP aims to tackle these urban issues by translating economic growth into long-lasting, inclusive and sustainable human development. We work with African governments, businesses, communities and regional organizations, helping cities to develop and share solutions to reduce urban poverty.


Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros DRC Republic of Congo Cote d'Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Nigeria Gambia Rwanda Ghana Sao Tome and Principe Guinea Senegal Guinea-Bissau Seychelles Kenya Sierra Leone Lesotho Liberia South Africa Madagascar Swaziland Malawi Tanzania Mali Togo Mauritania Uganda Mauritius Zambia >Mozambique Zimbabwe Niger Namibia

Facts and Figures

62% of urban populations in Africa live in slums
41% of Sub-Saharan Africans live in extreme poverty
1.3 billion more people are projected to be born in Africa by 2050
20% of Sub-Saharan Africa's unemployed are youth
23% of national parliaments in Africa are held by women
Source: UN Habitat

Project Spotlight

UNDP is also currently providing technical support to municipal authorities in Luanda, Angola to develop a national strategy on solid waste, one of the capital’s most pressing problems. With UNDP support, Luanda’s Kilamba Kiaxi municipality, with more than 200,000 inhabitants, is now one of the first in the country to establish and manage its own water and sanitation database system- a key tool for planning and monitoring water and solid waste services.