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Delivering Aviation for the African (Mega) City

We’ll be at AviaDev in Cape Town next week and are looking forward to engaging again with the airlines, airports and tourism bodies working to improve African connectivity. With African aviation in mind, we’ve read the recent Euromonitor International report “Megacities: Developing Country Domination”[1] with interest.

There are 33 so-called “megacities” in the world, cities with an urban population exceeding 10 million. Globally, megacities are expected to account for 9% of the world’s population by 2030, and 15% of economic activity. As more people are drawn to megacities, they punch above their weight in aviation terms, due to the need for megacity residents to maintain links with where they’ve come from and as megacities are the engines for global trade. Today, megacities account for 23% of all scheduled departing airline capacity and 5% of all airline seats are between Megacities.

 
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There are two African megacities: Cairo and Lagos. By 2030 Cairo will be the largest city on the Continent with a population inching towards 30m. Lagos will have the highest percentage increase in population of any megacity anywhere in the world, with at least 30% more residents than today.

By 2030, there will be a further six megacities of which two will be in Africa. Joining Baghdad, Bogota, Chennai and Chicago as new Megacities will be Luanda and Dar es Salaam. Luanda’s population will have risen by over 60% by then. Dar es Salaam is expected to have more than doubled its economic clout.

 
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As the Euromonitor report says, Africa is the last continent to undergo urbanisation but that process is now taking place at pace.

Cities - and the world’s megacities even more so – attract those in search of a better life, and offer more social diversity, opportunities for improving standards of living and trying new ideas. But they also come with challenges. In the fast-growing megacities, and in African megacities in particular, one of the challenges is to keep the pace of infrastructure development in line with city development. So, as some of the movers and shakers of African aviation gather in Cape Town, there is more at stake than simply developing a few more air services. How can African aviation contribute to the development of Africa’s cities as thriving hubs of enterprise and wealth? Do Africa’s airports have the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place to cope with this projected growth? Can the industry become a strong and united voice to challenge the rules and regulations which have limited the scale of aviation development? In short, can aviation deliver for the cities, megacities and megacities of the future?

Becca Rowland and John Grant, Partners at MIDAS Aviation, will be at AviaDev Africa, 24-16 April 2019, Cape Town.

[1] https://go.euromonitor.com/strategy-briefing-cities-2018-megacities.html

MIDAS Aviation