Urban development assistance mostly benefits big cities


Official Development Assistance  for urban development is mostly channelled to big cities, benefitting some 63 million people or37% of the region’s total urban population of 171 million people. About 45% of urban development projects were implemented in agglomerations with more than 300 000 inhabitants. However, nearly half of West Africa’s urban dwellers live in small and medium-size cities. The mapping of urban development-related  projects according to city size illustrates their highly uneven distribution in the region. Capital cities and large urban agglomerations - where infrastructure is already comparatively better developed - benefit from the strongest support from development partners. On the other hand, only one in five medium-size cities (300 000 – 1 million people) receives urban development assistance, and the large majority of small agglomerations (< 300 000 inhabitants) do not get any support. Considering West Africa’s rapidly growing small and mid-sized cities, development partners need to better target and scale up their support.


These maps are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

We encourage the use of our maps. Please include the Club’s copyright, inform or contact us for specific requests: