Africa in 2100: ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE or SHITHOLE?

Africa is projected to have 4.5 billion people by 2100, with countries like Nigeria expected to have 752 million people (more than the population of Europe today) and countries like the Democratic People's Republic of the Congo are expected to have 389 million people by that time. In 2100, the world's largest cities are projected to be

Population (2100) City Country

1 88.3 million Lagos Nigeria

2 83.5 million Kinshasa DRC

3 73.7 million Dar Es Salaam Tanzania

4 67.2 million Mumbai India

5 57.3 million Delhi India

6 56.6 million Khartoum Sudan

7 56.1 million Niamey Niger

8 54.3 million Dhaka Bangladesh

9 52.4 million Kolkata India

10 50.3 million Kabul Afghanistan

How do dirt poor countries like the DRC build the necessary infrastructure to have a functioning megacity and not have terrible air pollution? In Mumbai or Lagos right now, traffic and pollution is already terrible, how can these cities deal with an influx of new people? Will these giant megacities end up as ECONOMIC POWERHOUSES or SHITHOLES?

Comments (49)

 
Most Helpful
Nov 1, 2019 - 8:52am

It may curve in population, birth rates are already going down in several of those countries.

If these countries get more modernized and introduced to advanced contraception while breaking away from the tradition of having 6 kids, it will curve. (I heard Bill Gates was delivering condoms to them with drones)

If not, I guess learn French and English instead of Chinese for future language.

 
Nov 1, 2019 - 9:01am

Need to fix their electricity network first. South Africa is the first gateway into the continent, and even their grid is a mess. Around 70% of all Africans have no access to electricity.

Array
  • 1
 
Nov 4, 2019 - 12:16am

First we'll have to tell them they can't industrialize because of climate change

Gun rights activist
  • 3
 
Nov 2, 2019 - 9:21am

It can be done. It depends on a mixture of properly using investments, increasing desire/emphasis for political stability and increased urbanisation. You have to consider that progress is also relative to your neighbours. Even in Europe countries like Spain, Portugal or Italy have infrastructure issues compared to Scandinavia or BeNeLux. Countries like the DRC will certainly have a lot more work to do than say South Africa or Egypt but they can get there. Health also plays a large role in this. If communicable disease are still a big issues and kill of a large portion of your workforce halfway or 2/3 of the way into their liveable years then that hinders progress. As sanitation improves, cultural changes happen and political regimes become less totalitarian improvements will come. South America was pretty fucked in the 1900s and now they are doing MUCH better, Europe was also doing so so in the 1800s. It all takes time. Asian is a perfect case study; sure countries like Myanmar or Laos are still behind but others like Korea, Japan and Thailand have made significant improvement. It's a matter of time. I think by 2100 it will be well on it's way to serious improvements but may need until 2200 to really hit that excellence mark.

 
Nov 2, 2019 - 6:13pm

But nothing is changing in those countries. I remember reading an article from a guy who visited Sierra Leone in the 1970s and said it had gotten WORSE in the past 50 years. The economies are stagnant and hooked on foreign aid, and the governments are systemically corrupt. With a growing population, these problems could be amplified. This is what worries Bill Gates.

 
Nov 3, 2019 - 6:48am

Saying Sierra Leone is getting worse is like saying we haven't seen improvements in Bosnia in Europe. Sanitation is improving, more countries are pushing for stable government, life expectancy is increasing and infrastructure projects are on the rise (such as the new smart city of Cairo). Things have significantly improved for quite a few of those countries and there is also increased organisation around tourism which can become a stable source of income that helps diversify from natural resources. I wouldn't say things have stayed the same or have gotten worse for the whole continent.

 
Nov 6, 2019 - 8:31pm

This is the problem with international aid and development. Giving money to governments without teaching them how to collect taxes and generate revenue organically pretty much guarantees that the governments will always depend on external aid to offset tax revenues they do not collect. When cops collect bribes, it's because they get paid poorly. They're paid poorly because governments don't collect enough taxes to pay them well. Corruption will always be there. Asian tigers had corruption, but it was fixed. Africans want more without increasing the pot.

Array
 
Nov 2, 2019 - 6:27pm

Will stay depressed, china is moving in rapidly with the equivalent of predatory loans for infrastructure and development projects, think ports, rail stations etc.. when the countries default china will essentially take possession of the projects solidifying their presence in the region. This will be allowed to happen by the dictators that are in power in the region due to corruption and bribes and will result in a geopolitical win for china within the next 100 years. after that they will use the Africans for cheap labor and resources to fuel their own economy like america did to china in previous years.

 
Nov 3, 2019 - 11:23am

This sounds about right. With China's wages increasing, and ASEAN countries developing more, Africa will provide cheap labor and natural resources, while China will provide lots of capital with strings attached. Interesting statistic of the day- there are currently more than 60,000 African students studying in China for university while there are 37,000 in the US. Long term prediction - with China bolstering their universities and luring top STEM students with scholarships, China could drain the continent's brain power as well. I also think that some countries in Africa might go "full China" and impose their own technocratic totalitarian regime with free markets AND it will probably work. Look no further than Paul Kagame and Rwanda - despite being a brutal dictator, he has turned Rwanda from being a wartorn hellhole into one of the best countries in Africa with a burgeoning tourism industry in two decades.

 
Nov 3, 2019 - 2:23pm

There are definitely some pockets of hope scattered across the region where progress is being made but unfortunately too many undesirable people are leaching off the progress and inhibiting growth. As for the rest of the Continent, the Arabic nations are in shambles and will be held back due to a culture that for lack of better words behind the time.. class systems, religion and governance etc.... the rest is like we've said all china. I saw some amazing projects being built by Chinese companies in South Africa, Ethiopia and many other countries that look great from a far but when you get into the strings that come with the projects being paid for by the Chinese you realize that Africa is basically going to be a giant factory in the near future.

 
  • Prospect in S&T - Other
Nov 3, 2019 - 11:00pm

This is why US should definitely stand up to China and see China as not as a friend, China could challenge the ruled-based order established by the US and export its authoritarianism. I think many African countries have too much corruption problems, they're taking Chinese money but overdrafting their future

 
Nov 6, 2019 - 8:45pm

This speaks to the declining soft power.

Array
 
Nov 6, 2019 - 8:25pm

China has been there since the 80s with real engagement while Europeans gave a couple of dollars for aid and lectured Africans on democracy. Chinese entrepreneurs take risks other foreigners are unwilling to take and have exercised patience to see their results through. Speak to Africans and they'll tell you who they think is a true partner. The US is the preferred choice, for many good reasons, but they're not as active as needed.

Array
 
Nov 6, 2019 - 8:22pm

Projections on a single African country is hard by itself, it's quite ambitious to even frame that question for all the countries. In the 1950s and 60s many cities were considered modern on par with some European countries, but the infrastructure remained without major upgrades in some countries. Mauritius, Angola, SA, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, would probably laugh at your question; but it hints at the enormous complexity of viewing the countries there as "Africa". You can't look at it like a continent. Some countries will have conflict, as others enjoy enormous wealth, while others struggle with stagnant economies and other disparities; there's too much going on to capture in one mind or even frame. Simple answer is we don't know. Expect anything and to have your expectations proven wrong. That's Africa for you.

Array
  • 1
 
Nov 7, 2019 - 1:51pm

If those population estimates turn out to be accurate and other nations outside Africa maintain smaller but steady growth rates, this is gonna be one overcrowded planet.

Dayman?
 
Dec 6, 2019 - 6:31pm

This will certainly be the major challenge of the century. Quite frankly, I only care how Africa develops insofar as it saves Europe & the USA from even more mass migration from the disaster of a continent it is. Don't get me wrong, it's sad to see a continent with environmental degradation, stubborn poverty, and the like, but we should be even more concerned with the potentiality of ruining Western Civilization by importing millions of these people here as many on the Left and in the Globalist establishment would like to do.

 
Dec 6, 2019 - 6:45pm

Africa will never improve period. This is after living there for 9 years and having the opportunity to speak with numerous political and military leaders. In 2100, it will be a swamp that not even President Trump can drain. Sending speed-boats and make-shift medieval vessels, full of illegal immigrants in a 360 hemisphere.

The only way this circumstance changes, is if they equip me with a G.I. Joe suit and send me in there with dual wield unlimited ammo dessert eagles with (FMJ armor penetrating bullets) to eliminate the Saudi-backed Terrorists groups. The terrorists operating through Africa have more man-power, technology, and funding than the entire continent combined. Terrorists are using brand new 2019 armored Toyota 4Runners that are being purchased in Saudi Arabia and magically appearing in Niger and Mali.

![gi joe movie](https://media1.giphy.com/media/1ji5gB9YUb1ra/giphy.gif)

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • 2
 
May 18, 2020 - 9:29pm

Which countries were you in? By your comment on terrorism seems like Mali, Niger, Somalia are it but definitely not Mauritius or the Seychelles. Also the problems there which are regionally specific cannot be eliminated by bullets or bombs. if he continent will improve it must figure out a way to capture more of the value it exports cheaply and develop effective tax structures to fund State capacity. the problem is most of the countries were designed to be weak in the late 19th to early 20th century and have remained so since.

Array
 
May 18, 2020 - 9:24pm

Nearly all of the comments here are a good reason why many outside the continent have zero clue of what's going on there. And perhaps it should remain so: less completion for them.

Array
 
May 18, 2020 - 10:06pm

I think the conventional wisdom is that a young workforce coupled with low labor costs, accommodative expansionary economic policies to incentivize growth, and a strong rule of law that favors investors is a winning formula for growing your country because that's worked for most other developing nations.

The concern I have has nothing to do with Africa's current problems, it's that the paradigm of more labor = more productivity is likely to become more and more irrelevant as automation progresses. People talk about how developing countries often leapfrog past technologies (I.e. skipping landlines and going directly to owning cell phones / smart phones is a classic example in Africa and the developing world). I would argue the same can be said about manufacturing and increasingly medium to high skilled office jobs where automation may be, if not eliminating workers, reducing the needed labor for the same output. It's happening in the developed world and will undoubtedly occur in Africa at the same time. I don't think it means they're fucked, if anything these past few months have shown how capital markets can function semi-independently from the "real" Main Street economy where the foundation is employment and real wages. If you are just now growing up as a country but there are no inflationary pressures on wages and fewer incentives to attend higher education due to the increasing sophistication of machine learning... well, I don't know what kind of society that breeds but it's not one I would likely recommend living in for very long. In the U.S. you see this kind of erosion in bargaining power for lower wage workers most severely impacted by automation and outsourcing (Rust Belt), imagine that in an even more destitute society. I would be willing to bet if you conducted a study overlay of these people in the U.S. they would correlate highly with: deaths of despair (higher incidence of drug overdose deaths), higher levels of criminality and political polarization (populism is a well known side effect of financial crises and corporate bailouts). That is the future for some of these countries, they will leapfrog U.S. prosperity in the 1950s-2000s and realize they suddenly have developed world problems without the safety nets and wealth of a developed world economy. Pessimistic as hell of me, I don't doubt insane amounts of wealth can and will be generated by tapping Africa's natural resources and its growing educated workforce, and I don't doubt many of Africa's countries will grow quickly enough to have a fighting chance once automation really starts to impact us all... but I think the distribution of wealth will be severely stratified in the laggards at a critical moment in their development cycle. Countries that should be growing GDP +6% annually to catch up with the world as China and India will see much more anemic growth in sectors traditionally driven by strong lower-middle class consumer demand.

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

LETS FKING GO BOYS
+133IBby Intern in Corporate Finance">Intern in CorpFin
You Did it Citi
+120OFFby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
HELP: Sticky Situation with Boss
+111OFFby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Idgaf anymore
+31IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Anyone else just want out of this shit?
+29IBby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Generalist">Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Evercore Target Schools?
+26BSCHby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
To Snitch or not to Snitch?
+20OFFby 2nd Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 2 in IB - Ind

Total Avg Compensation

March 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (31) $349
  • Associates (162) $231
  • 2nd Year Analyst (97) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (92) $144
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (23) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (370) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (306) $82

Leaderboard See all

1
LonLonMilk's picture
LonLonMilk
98.5
2
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.4
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
98.3
4
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
97.8
5
redever's picture
redever
97.7
6
frgna's picture
frgna
97.6
7
Addinator's picture
Addinator
97.6
8
NuckFuts's picture
NuckFuts
97.5
9
Edifice's picture
Edifice
97.5
10
bolo up's picture
bolo up
97.5