Tanzania is the most urbanised country in East Africa, according to data compiled by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities.
The second largest economy in East Africa is 35.2 percent urbanised, putting it ahead of its neighbouring countries. Despite being East Africa’s largest and most diversified economy, Kenya plays second fiddle to Tanzania in urbanisation levels at 28 percent, meaning just slightly more than a quarter of the country is urban.
Uganda is ranked third in the region with an urbanisation rate of 25 percent, or a quarter of the country, followed by Ethiopia which is 21.7 percent urban and 17.4 percent for Rwanda. Last is Burundi where only 13.7 percent of the country is urbanised.
Urbanisation, like industrialisation,is a key indicator of socioeconomic prosperity and economic advancement of a nation. The more urbanised and industrialised a nation is, the more prosperous it is likely to be. But this most often comes along with increased pollution and other strains on ecosystem vitality in urban centres, in the absence of proper planning and sustainable policies.
In 2017, the World Bank ranked Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam’s real estate ahead of Nairobi and Addis Ababa in its cities report.
The World Bank put economic value of Dar’s real estate at $12 billion ahead of Nairobi’s $9 billion. Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa came in third at $6 billion.
In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa is the most urbanised economy at 67.4 percent, while oil-rich Angola follows closely at 66.8 percent, according to the data. Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest and most populous economy, is 52 percent urbanised, meaning slightly over half of the country is urban. According to recent data from International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kenya, with an urbanisation level of 28 percent, has surpassed Angola to emerge as the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria and South Africa.
Globally, Singapore takes the lead with a 100 percent urbanisation rate, meaning the entire country is urbanised, followed by Iceland (94 percent) while third is Japan where 91.8 percent of society is urban.