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The Dynamics of Systems of Secondary Cities series in Africa

Urbanisation, Migration and Development

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Cities Alliance and the African Development Bank

25 May 2022

Brian H Roberts , Godfrey O Anyumba


uKESA Librarian 3


Tunisia, South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Angola

Secondary systems of cities in Africa (SSCA) have become the subject of renewed interest by scholars and international development organisations. This book explores the role played by secondary cities in the development of African countries and regions. It includes a review and discusses trends, influences, and challenges, including the forces of New Economic Geography, facing the development of secondary cities in Africa. Using a systems approach, it examines urban governance, economic, development, social, and environmental factors that have shaped the development of secondary cities. Eight country and city case studies illustrate how they have approached urbanisation, decentralisation, and other processes supporting secondary city development.


These case studies provide insights and knowledge about challenges facing the development of secondary cities within the selected countries. Learning outcomes are presented for each country case study, followed by an outline of opportunities open to secondary cities in Africa to become more competitive, dynamic, and liveable. The roles that international development assistance agencies and organisations can play to support the development of secondary systems of cities are discussed.


The book concludes with a call for a new urban age agenda for the management and development of African secondary cities. This is focused on the need for improved urban governance, management, planning and economic development, and for enhancing connectivity and logistic systems to build collaborative partnerships between secondary cities and create a strong network of national systems of cities across the continent.


Abstract based on source.


Website References


Built environment

Development policy

Economic development

Environmental management



Human settlements




Secondary cities


South Africa



Urban development

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