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Lagos, Nigeria, the largest city in Africa, remains one of the fastest growing cities on the planet. 
Africa's urban populations have been rapidly increasing in recent years. The increase is creating opportunities and challenges alike as these cities struggle to adapt as more residents compete for urban resources that are stretched to the limit. However, the rise in population is also creating new opportunities on fiscal, technological, and social fronts.
Analysis of the Largest African Cities' Populations and their Socioeconomic Roles
Lagos, Nigeria – 21 million

Lagos City in Lagos State is Nigeria’s largest city and its economic capital, located along the Atlantic Ocean. According to Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung (HBS) Foundation research it’s the 7th fastest growing city in the world, with a population of 21 million, according to a 2014 report by the National Population Commission of Nigeria. 
The Borgen Project reports an annual growth of 2 to 3 percent of Nigeria’s population. Unlike other states dependent on oil revenues Lagos City economy is diversified to manufacturing, transport, construction, service, wholesale, and retail sectors. 
The state covers 0.4% of the country’s territorial land and is the smallest division in the country. Still, it accounts for over 60 percent of industrial and commercial ventures of the nation, according to Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung Foundation research. A 2015 report by the Economist states that annually Lagos State generates $90 billion dollars in goods and services. If it were a country, Lagos State economy would be number 7 in Africa making it bigger than that of Kenya, Cote D Ivoire, and Ghana. 
Though Lagos City has affluence a study on Financial Times in 2012 reported two thirds of the population as slum dwellers. Crime is also a problem in the city, and the United States' Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) gives it a crime rating of critical. Kidnappings, extortion, carjacks, assaults, rapes, armed muggings, and burglaries are common in the city.


Cairo, Egypt – 20.4 million

Cairo is Egypt’s largest city and its capital. It’s heralded as the cradle of civilization and in the Middle East, is also the largest city, and with its metropolis has a population of over 20.4 million. According to a 2014 Population Reference Bureau report, the country’s population is growing at a rate of 2.6 percent annually. 
Cairo is Egypt’s economic hub with two thirds of the country’s Gross Domestic Product generated in the greater metropolitan section, according to City Data. Textile and food processing, iron and steel production, consumer good productions, are some of the job creating sectors in the city. 
Cairo is also vibrant hub of tourism, commerce, finance, and government services. Since the January 2011 revolution, economic growth has been affected negatively with food and medicine prices increasing, and unemployment rising. 
Crime is also a problem in Cairo, with OSAC rating it high. According to UN data, the Greater Cairo area, with 8 overcrowded informal settlements, has large population segments living under the international poverty level of living below $2 a day. In those settlements, education levels are low, malnutrition high, health conditions poor, and diseases rife among children.

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