By Jean-Philippe Stijns and David Morgant
Across the globe, people are moving to cities faster than ever before. They are seeking jobs, better health care, education and clean water.
A little more than half of the world lives in an urban area today. By 2050, this could reach 70 percent, according the United Nations. African cities will experience some of the biggest growth. The continent’s urban population is expected to rise from around 470 million today to more than 820 million by 2030.
Life in a big city is tempting for young, rural Africans. Once they get a cellphone, they surf the internet and see all the advantages of city life. But when they get there, surviving can be hard. The newcomers might not have family or community support. It’s easy to end up on the streets or in the slums. This transfers rural poverty to the cities.