The most populated cities in Africa


When writing about the most populated cities in Africa, I remember that when I see a map of the world, my gaze automatically turns to the African continent. Within my traveling experience, I left Africa for last, as that delicious dessert that you want to preserve to delight with it with all the time in the world.

Nor is it that I know the other continents perfectly, because I have a lot of world to discover, but the truth is that I made my first steps in Asia, Europe, America and Oceania.

When it was Africa's turn, I was not disappointed at all. I was fascinated by the adventures that I had there while traveling with my South Africa backpack Malawi Y Mozambique in 2013 and Ethiopia in 2015. Since then, I have not been able to return for work reasons, but I hope that the situation changes soon.

What I liked most about Africa is the rural environment. Although I did find the point at Addis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia), in general, the big African cities are chaotic, dirty and dangerous. Anyway, I don't like too many big cities in any country.

If you wonder what they are the most populated cities in Africa, here is an updated list (taking into account the entire metropolitan area):

1. Lagos, Nigeria - 21 million

Lagos is the economic capital of Nigeria, and one of the fastest expanding cities in Africa. However, it is not a positive expansion, since two thirds of the population of Lagos lives in shacks that swirl around the city itself.

In the most populous city in Africa, the crime rate in Lagos is totally critical and it is not advisable to go out at night, as armed robberies, murders, rapes and abductions are the order of the day.

2. Cairo, 20.4 million inhabitants

The capital of Egypt produces two thirds of the country's wealth and is one of the most populous cities in Africa. Cairo is a huge city, with eight large suburbs and a population that has been growing at a rate close to 2.5% since 2014.

Tourism is one of the important income of Cairo, but also the steel, textile and consumer goods industry. However, since the Arab Spring revolution, medicine and food prices have risen at the same rate as unemployment, creating a situation of great poverty and raising crime rates in the city.

3. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 13.3 million inhabitants

The second largest city in the Francophone world sits on the banks of the Congo River and its population has grown at a rate of 9.2% since 2015.

Despite the great natural wealth that the Democratic Republic of the Congo treasures - oil, minerals, wood, gas and agricultural land - due to the perennial corruption and continuing armed conflicts, the population does not benefit at all and in Kinshasa the vast majority live below the poverty line. This, again, creates a high crime situation in the streets.

4. Luanda, Angola, 6.9 million

Angola's capital is growing at a rapid pace and it is estimated that it will reach 9 million by 2030, raising some position in the list of the most populated cities in Africa. Luanda is one of the most important ports in West Africa and thanks to oil and mining, an economic boom has also benefited from the construction, tourism, finance and communications sectors.

Therefore, in recent years, skyscrapers and luxury apartments have proliferated, making Luanda one of the most expensive cities in the world to live.

5. Nairobi, Kenya, 6.5 million inhabitants