MasterCard Study Reveals African Cities Economic Growth Potential
Out of 19 Cities, Accra, Lusaka and Luanda offer Highest Growth Potential in
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JOHANNESBURG -- January 29, 2013
Accra, Lusaka and Luanda, the capital cities of Ghana, Zambia and Angola
respectively, have been identified as the Sub-Saharan African cities that have
the highest potential for growth over the next five years, according to the
MasterCard African Cities Growth Index. As the entire African continent with
its population of over 1 billion people is going through a fundamental
transformation, this new Index puts a spotlight on the economic and human
factors driving urban growth over the next five years.
The Index, produced on behalf of MasterCard by Professor George Angelopulo of
the University of South Africa (UNISA), was launched today at the second
Africa Knowledge Forum hosted by MasterCard in Johannesburg, convening thought
leaders from academic, business and government sectors. The Forum explores how
cities across Africa are playing an increasingly important role in driving
national and regional growth, how they need to compete on the global stage in
order to attract inward investment, and how these cities urgently need to
manage their natural and human resources more effectively as they grow.
The MasterCard African Cities Growth Index was developed in the final quarter
of 2012 and analysed 19 cities across Sub-Saharan Africa ranking them
according to their growth potential between 2012 and 2017. The Index rankings
were developed from published historical and projected data on typical factors
that impact cities' growth rates, including: economic data, governance levels,
ease of doing business, infrastructure and human development factors, and
population growth levels.
Of the 19 researched cities, Accra, the capital city of Ghana, was ranked as
having the highest growth potential, followed by Lusaka and Luanda, that were
both identified as having medium-high growth potential.
“Some of the key reasons for Accra emerging as a high growth city include: its
gross domestic product per capita growth over the past three years, its
projected population and household consumption growth, its strong regulatory
environment, and the relative ease of doing business in this city, compared to
other African cities,” said Professor Angelopulo.
While many of these larger and more established cities offer the expected
potential for growth, other less prominent ones are quietly establishing
themselves as those with even higher growth potential. This is primarily due
to high scores on accelerated growth factors that include health, education,
governance, infrastructure development, and the ease of doing business in
Johannesburg, although already a strong economic powerhouse city in Africa,
achieved lower scores in certain categories as a result of lower growth
expectations due to its relative maturity when compared to other African
cities. For example, the expected growth of the middle class population is
higher from cities such as Accra and Luanda than it is for Johannesburg, which
has seen a growing middle class since the change of government in 1994.
Explaining why MasterCard chose to develop this new Index specifically for
Africa, Michael Miebach, president, MasterCard Middle East and Africa says,
“Africa is a region where the lines between the developed and developing
worlds are dissipating owing to various economic, demographic and
technological factors. Most of these factors have been associated with the
increased urbanization of the continent. Therefore, understanding the
long-term growth potential of Africa’s cities, and the resultant increase in
African urban consumers, has never been as important.”
“We are committed to understanding the needs and challenges that consumers,
businesses and financial institutions face as we partner with local
stakeholders to enable economic growth through the increased adoption of
electronic payments. African nations have taken the lead in moving toward a
world beyond cash that is also a world of greater financial inclusion and
economic empowerment,” said Miebach.
He noted that, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme,
the urban population of Africa is expected to triple by 2050 to 1.23 billion
(from 395 million in 2009), by which time 60% of all Africans will be living
in cities or urban areas.
“This growth in urbanization, combined with the fact that the center of global
economic gravity is shifting to dynamic emerging markets such as those found
in Africa, means that the continent’s cities will play a much bigger role in
driving the economic growth of their respective countries,” Miebach continued.
Harare (Zimbabwe), Kano (Nigeria), Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), and Khartoum
(Sudan) were deemed to have the lowest growth potential of the 19 cities
examined in the study.
Although these cities scored well in some categories, such as the overall
health index and the levels of foreign direct investment, their potential for
growth was negatively impacted by low scores in areas such as their political
and regulatory environments, lower historical economic growth and the
challenges of doing business.
“One of Africa’s key economic and social challenges is how its cities attract
significant inward investment by being globally competitive, serving as
magnets for investment and growth, hot-spots of innovation and, most
importantly, developing attractive and thriving business environments,”
concludes Professor Angelopulo.
The MasterCard African Cities Growth Index is compiled from a range of
verified data on variables of city economic growth. The Index uses historical
data from the period 2009 to 2011 for:
*GDP Per Capita Growth (Canback Danglar)
*Household Consumption Expenditure Growth (Canback Danglar)
*Governance Factors (World Bank, World Governance Indicators) – included
are Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness,
Regulatory Quality, Voice and Accountability, Rule of Law, Control of
*Doing Business (World Bank)
*City Population Growth (Canback Danglar)
*National Urbanisation (World Bank, World Development Indicators)
*Middle Class Household Growth (Canback Danglar).
Additionally, the Index uses projected data for the five years 2012 to 2017
*GDP Per Capita Growth (Canback Danglar)
*Household Consumption Expenditure Growth (Canback Danglar)
*Human Development Index Factors (UN) – included are Health and Education
*Infrastructure Development Factors (World Bank, World Development
Indicators) – included are Gross Fixed Capital Formation as Percentage of
GDP, Access to Water, Access to Electricity, Access to Sanitation
*Mobile Telephone Subscriptions (ITU)
*Inbound Travel Factors (MasterCard Global Cities Project) – included are
International Non-Resident Arrivals and International Non-Resident
Cities were selected to include a range from all regions of Sub-Saharan
Africa. The range is not exhaustive and additional cities are expected to be
added in further research updates. The cities and their ranking are
1. Accra Ghana 11. Cape Town South Africa
2. Lusaka Zambia 12. Mombasa Kenya
3. Luanda Angola 13. Lagos Nigeria
4. Dar es Salaam Tanzania 14. Abuja Nigeria
5. Addis Ababa Ethiopia 15. Dakar Senegal
6. Nairobi Kenya 16. Harare Zimbabwe
7. Kampala Uganda 17. Kano Nigeria
8. Johannesburg South Africa 18. Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire
9. Kinshasa DRC 19. Khartoum Sudan
10. Durban South Africa
The assessment was undertaken in a five-step process:
1. The variables of city economic growth were converted to a common 100
2. The variables were weighted to reflect their contribution to growth.
The variables were aggregated using the geometric average method of the
3. Potgieter-Angelopulo Index -
4. The results were presented in two dimensions – lagging (historical)
indicators on the one and leading (projected) indicators on the other.
5. The dimensional scores were consolidated and this data was used for the
final city rankings.
Professor George Angelopulo, University of South Africa
Professor George Angelopulo is affiliated to the University of South Africa
and CENTRUM Católica, the business centre of the Pontificia Universidad
Católica del Perú. He develops and applies diagnostics in the corporate field,
has published in peer reviewed journals, produced standard academic works used
throughout Southern Africa, and authored a number of books.
MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa
includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence,
as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online
Shopping and Ethical Spending, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of
Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research
properties also include a range of consumer surveys including a series on
Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment,
Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of
business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the
Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have
been produced since 2004.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology
company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network,
connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and
businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products
and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling,
running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more
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