Top 10 Largest African Cities

Africa is where it all started for our species and where a lot of the action is still going on. So, which are the larget African cities?

The lengthy history of influential settlements, ever-changing in response to changing tides, has now merged with the modern, fast-paced world to establish powerful metropolitans.

These cities have established themselves at the mouths of major oceans, bays, and seas, alongside some of the world’s most famous rivers, and at critical inland transition locations.

The following 10 entries have built such notable populations not only because of a storied past and advantageous physical location, but also because of the economic opportunities provided by these locations.

Top 10 Largest African Cities

1. Lagos, Nigeria – 15,388,000

Largest African Cities

This bustling urban agglomeration in Western Africa is the largest metropolis on the continent and the former capital of Nigeria.

The population of the city (proper) is approximately twice as large as the next two places on this list, and it is also growing at a rate that does not seem to be slowing down, with a growth rate of about 3.54% over the last year.

The oil sector assures that Lagos is the economic backbone of the country, contributing about one-quarter of Nigeria’s gross domestic product, despite the fact that it is no longer the administrative center (the capital was moved to Abuja in 1991).

2. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of The Congo – 7,785,965

Largest African Cities

The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, which is located in West-Central Africa is one of Africa’s largest cities. The capital cities of the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville and Kinshasa, both share the South and North banks of the Congo River.

Kinshasa is also referred to as “Kin” locally. It is interesting that the deepest section of the deepest river in the world is just near to this administrative and populated area.

The enormous slums that are the main cause of the city’s physical expansion (estimated at 8km per year) coexist with the older, geometrically structured metropolis to create Kin. The great majority of the GDP of the DRC comes from the (mostly informal) economy of Kinshasa.

3. Cairo, Egypt – 7,734,614


Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the third-biggest city in Africa, but its estimated 22 million residents make it the continent’s largest urban area. Cairo, which is located on the banks of the venerated, life-giving Nile River, is only a short distance north of the Great Pyramids of Giza, which stand out against the innumerable layers of both old and new architecture when viewed from above.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo (EMC) proudly celebrates Cairo’s past by housing the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world. The current political activities, expanding commercial links, and industrial production are all major drivers of daily life in Cairo.

4. Kano, Nigeria – 4,103,000


Returning to Nigeria, Kano, an ancient village, has grown into one of the largest african cities, this time in the country’s far north. Both currently and for thousands of years in the past, the capital of Kano State has been a significant halt on the trans-Saharan trade route.

The export of agricultural products like cotton, hides and skins, peanuts, and livestock, as well as local retail services and traditional industries like leather and cloth tailoring (century-old dye pits are still in use), metalwork, and pottery, continue to be the major drivers of prosperity even though efforts are being made to diversify the economy.

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5. Alexandria, Egypt – 3,811,516

Largest African Cities

Alexandria has restored its position as a powerhouse of not only Egypt but the entire Mediterranean region despite her lengthy and ultimately devastating past.

This storied port city, which Alexander the Great founded in 331 BCE at the western edge of the Nile delta, is located approximately 114 miles north of Cairo on the Southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

A large portion of the nation’s industrial and commercial economy is proudly carried by the city because to its advantageous location and thriving population. A significant source of revenue for the city is tourism, with many tourists seeking to experience a little of the legendary wonder of antiquity.

6. Abidjan, Ivory Coast – 3,677,115


One of the largest african cities is Abidjan. The former capital of the Ivory Coast in West Africa benefits from its location on the Ébrié Lagoon and the Gulf of Guinea, which leads into the Atlantic Ocean.

Abidjan still hosts government offices, political organizations, and foreign embassies despite being officially relinquished of its administrative duties in 1980 (replaced by Yamoussoukro to the north).

Over 1/5 of the Ivory Coast’s population resides there, making it the country’s undisputed economic and social center. This French-speaking city’s luxury shopping and entrepreneurial spirit have earned it the nicknames “the Paris of West Africa” and “the Manhattan of West Africa,” respectively.

7. Ibadan, Nigeria – 3,565,108


The third most populous metropolis in Nigeria and the largest city in terms of area is located around 80 miles northwest of Lagos. The capital of the Oyo State, Ibadan, acts as a vital crossroads between the vast rural northwest and the southwest coast.

Ibadan is known for its expertise in manufacturing, service industries, commerce and handicrafts (independent markets are quite common throughout both the traditional core and beneath the vast expanse of rust-colored suburban roofs), agriculture (diminishing slightly but still relatively pronounced for a big city), and agriculture.

The largest library in the nation is located at the University of Ibadan, which is a guaranteed strategy to draw in bright students.

8. Cape Town, South Africa – 3,433,441


This spectacular metropolis serves as both the national legislative capital and the provincial capital of the Western Cape. It is located on South Africa’s southwest coast near the bottom of the continent. Cape Peninsula and False Bay provide protection for Cape Town as it protrudes into the Atlantic Ocean.

This past FIFA World Cup co-host never fails to draw large crowds from both tourists and locals. Beautiful beaches may be found in Cape Town under the shadow of Table Mountain, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city serves as an important seaport, especially for the fishing sector, and an industrial hub for South Africa.

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9. Casablanca, Morocco – 3,144,909


Morocco’s largest city and main port, Casablanca, is situated on the Atlantic coast of North Africa and serves as a link to Europe. The Port of Casablanca is one of the world’s largest artificial ports, although being smaller than Tangier-Med (a bit farther up the coast).

Here in Casablanca, the Royal Moroccan Navy has also constructed its main base. The city’s rapid growth, which began with the French occupation in the early 20th century, has turned it into a prominent Global Financial Centre and the undeniable capital of Morocco’s economy, where most of the country’s manufacturing and banking activities take place. It is one of the largest african cities.

10. Durban, South Africa – 3,120,282


The second-largest city in South Africa has established itself on the Southeast Coast, close by Cape Town, and this time offers access to and from the Indian Ocean via Natal Bay.

This frequently ignored sister city of Cape Town served as a co-host for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Golden Mile, an exquisite section of cosmopolitan waterfront that matches any in the nation, underwent a comprehensive makeover as a result of this significant athletic event.

In addition to being a sizable business port and an ever-increasing tourist hotspot, “Durbs” also draws a diverse population of people. This city has the highest concentration of people who are of Indian heritage (outside of India, of course).