Urban dwellers in Africa and Asia to increase by over 2 billion

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People at a bus station in Abidjan's Adjamé District © Alexis Adélé/IRIN

The number of people living in urban areas in Africa and Asia is expected to increase by more than two billion over the next four decades, according to a new United Nations report launched on Thursday.

The United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, which issued the 2011 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects, says the report covers 5,300 cities.

They include 633 of the largest cities with populations of three quarters of a million or more.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development says the report is based on new data related to the 2010 census

"Between 2011 and 2050 Asia and Africa's urban populations will increase by 1.4 billion and 851 million respectively, together accounting for 86 per cent of all urban population growth over the next four decades. Now this will, of course, pose new challenges. Africa and Asia will have to experience very significant economic growth to be able to increase urban employment opportunities, expand urban transportation infrastructure, improve water supply systems as well as energy systems."

Duration: 34"

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