Challenges of African Rapid Urbanization: The Case of the Sudan

Authors: Mohamed Ibrahim*, Hunter College - CUNY
Topics: Urban Geography, Development, Africa
Keywords: Rapid urbanization, poverty, migration, decline of cities, Sudan.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Africa more than any other continent is experiencing rapid urbanization and the increase of urban population will continue to grow. The main reason behind such rapid urban growth is the increasing rate of rural-urban migration because people were driven by poverty in the rural area. Poverty occurred as a result of poor agricultural performance. However, rapid urban growth causes the lack of infrastructure and social services. In the Sudan, because of the application of the neo-liberal policies in early 1990s, agricultural production has decreased drastically and led to the increase of poverty in the rural areas. As a result, masses of rural people migrated to towns. In addition to the early waves of migration because of environmental problems and civil wars in the 1980s – 1990s that forced people to migrate to cities and towns. Therefore, the number of urban population has increased beyond the abilities of cities to provide social services which cause the decline of cities. However, policies of urban planning were initiated to solve the problem; they failed because they addressed the consequences of migration rather than the cause. Solution lies with changing the economic development policy since urbanization and economic development are closely related.

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