West Africa Urbanization Topic Outline



(a) Remittances go to rural areas
(b) Better than living in the countryside
© Increases the development of the countryside because they produce good for the cities

(d) increase tax collection, social welfare spending
(e) Job opportunities
(f) Digitalization/critical infrastructure increases economic opportunities

*Economic growth

(a) Larger workforce/economic growth
(b) Urban jobs are better than rural jobs
(c) Urbanization increases foreign direct investment (FDI), FDI good 
(d) Entrepreneurship — more resources, interacting with other people who have good ideas, better educated ideas
(e) Markets — greater demand for markets, more functioning market
(f) Increased productivity — people travel shorter distance
(g) Increased capital access in cities
(h) Increased business service access in cities
(i) More trade — urban cities are often port cities, goods are exported through cities

*Secondary cities boost national economies

*Reduced inequality
(a) Access to resources for more people in urban areas
(b) Improved housing (can be its own contention)
(c) Cities are more stable and there is more resource sharing

*Health care solve disease, solves general health problems

(a) Puts health care near people
(b) Health care better than in rural areas
(c) Urbanization makes health care more affordable
(d) Cities have more health care regulations
(e) Specialists (heart doctors, cancer doctors) work in urban areas
(f) Healthy lifestyles in cities
(g) Urbanization means more research into public health treatments
(h) Urbanization reduces infection

*General quality of life improvement

*Food security
(a) Easier to disperse food in cities


(a) Green technology in cities  (including grid integration)
(b) Rural life releases more carbon
(c) Less energy use per person, including greenhouse gases (GHG), than in rural areas
(d) Reduced use of wood-burning stoves
(e) Reduced population growth
(e1) Population growth inevitable
(e2) Urbanization reduces population growth
(f) Improved environment – reduced demand for wood

(a) Urbanization improves policing/safety
(b) Rural crime is worse

*Education – strengthen schools (teachers, curriculum)

(a)better resources so better education
(b)School buildings
© better teachers


(a) transportation (public transportation). Green infrastructure in public transit reduces greenhouse gases (GHG)
(b) electricity
(c)water supplies: (1) infrastructure means greater supply; (2) water sanitation
(d)energy distribution
(e) communication, including internet/telecommunication development


(a) Hospitals treat disease, generally better health care improves disease treatment
(b) Fewer people living in rural areas protects the environment, environmental destruction increases disease spread


(a) Reduced ethnic conflict in cities


(a) Urbanization increases demands for democratic accountability
(b) Urbanization increases economic resources and participation in politics


(a) Trade generally good for West African countries
(b) Benefits US economy
© Benefits China economy

*Increased safety in everyday life

*Fast internet and smart cities

*Gender empowerment
(a) More jobs for women
(b) Less difficult lives for women (getting water, farming)
(c) More rights and rights protection for women

*Integrate West Africa with the rest of Africa



(a) Urbanization causes rural brain drain
(b) Massive unemployment in cities, city economic development/job growth doesn’t increase fast enough to meet the demand for jobs
(c) Slums — Lots of poor people end up living in crowded slums
(d) Increased land prices and housing costs hurt the poor

*Cities can’t meet food demands, creates food insecurity

*Environmental damage

(a) Increased natural resource use, depletion
(b) air pollution
(c ) Climate change
(d) Human waste and trash
(e) Unsafe water
(f) Unclean sanitation – Allows for disease to spread easily
(g) Coastal retreat (coastlines shrink)
(h) Deforestation from increased charcoal usage

*Spread of diseases – concentrated area/lots of people, poor sanitation

(a) zoonotic pathogens – increased demand for meat
(b) Connecting cities to rural areas
(c) Easier spread infectious diseases because people all crowd together.
(d) Malaria
(e) COVID-19
(f) Culture

*Urbanization causes obesity

*Undermines culture


(a) China influence bad generally
(b) China development bad, including debt trap
© China 5G bad

*General Imperialism/Colonialism

*Trade Bad
(a) Trade means greater resource extraction
(b) Trade means more low wage jobs


(a) Recruiting poor people generally
(b) Recruiting in slums
© No reliable security forces
(d) Corruption

*Increased drug trade

*Surveillance bad (Smart Cities Link)

*Political instability

*Cities are at-risk of natural disasters (can include coastal retreat)

*Answers to: Asia proves urbanization is good