Analysis of Multiple Deprivations in Secondary Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world's fastest urbanizing region

Odwa Gogwana, 18, overlooks the suburb of Hout Bay, from Imizamu Yethu Township in South Africa
UNICEF/UN025513/South Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world that is expected to record a positive increase in its child and youth population by 2050. Demographics across the region show that the urban population is predominantly youthful. More children and youth will be living in urban areas and cities, than in rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, by 2050, with the biggest proportion of urban population residing in secondary towns of 300,000 people or less.  It is within this context that UN-HABITAT and UNICEF identified the need to analyze current conditions in secondary towns and cities, and to strengthen evidence on how to make secondary cities and towns more livable.

This Analysis Report uses the Index of Multiple Deprivations as an effective diagnostic tool for measuring relative deprivation and inequalities in small areas, such as secondary cities and towns. The analysis shows that by 2050, 6 out 10 people in Africa will live in urban areas and 70 per cent of them will be children and youth. The urbanization trends particularly around secondary cities means heightened levels of multiple deprivations for children on the continent in areas of WASH, Health, Housing and Shelter for children.  

The Call for Action outlines key messages to the leaders and all stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa including:  the recognition of secondary towns and cities as current and future frontiers of urban growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa; placing children and youth at the core of policy development, funding and programming for secondary cities; embracing pro-active planning , strong data systems and use of data to monitor and determine future needs and sustainable plans for secondary towns and cities; and the need to anchor the development of secondary towns and cities on a strong and sustainable economic base.

UN-Habitat UNICEF report
UN-Habitat and UNICEF
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Click here to download the Analysis Report and Call to Action