The future is urban, the future is African (and implications for sanitation)

The future is urban, the future is African (and implications for sanitation). WASH Economics, January 9, 2018.

UNPD brought out their 2017 update to World Population Prospects (WPP) last summer. One striking graph from that got me digging into the data into the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects (WUP) data.

This may seem slightly off-topic for a WASH economics blog, but understanding population trends is crucial in economics.

For costing purposes, you’ll often find yourself multiplying a per household or per person unit cost, by a number of households or people. future-is-african

That’s true whether you’re estimating the costs of reaching the SDGs at the global level, carrying out strategic financial planning at the  national level, or understanding how to finance a sanitation master plan at the city level.

So, the future is African. This becomes obvious, when looking at the figure below from WPP 2017. A lot can happen between now and 2100, but the trend for the African continent is striking. Even at 2050 (not that far away, scarily) the absolute numbers are striking, with Africa seeing a ~150% increase on its 2010 total population.

Read the complete article.

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