Dar es Salaam is the second-fastest growing city worldwide. Its planners are struggling to keep up

  • Thread starter EastAfricanTube
  • Start date


DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA One evening in March, as a warm breeze blew in from the Indian Ocean and the call to prayer from the neighborhood mosque echoed in the twilight, Omari Abdullah sat on a plastic chair outside his home, preparing for his night’s work.

Like many in this sprawling seaside metropolis, Abdullah is a migrant—a country boy drawn to life in the big city, who arrived 17 years ago and never looked back. A native of Kigoma, in western Tanzania, he couldn’t afford high school and grew restless with his job on a sunflower farm. So at 20 he made the 800-mile journey on the back of a truck, stayed with a friend until he could find work, and eventually started his own business: a small stand selling french fries—known as chips in this former British colony—on the outskirts of Tandale, one of the city’s largest informal settlements.
Scraping by here isn’t easy: Abdullah works seven days a week, often until 2 am, to make a profit that averages around $60 a month. But as he tells it, life is good.

“You can build a life in Dar es Salaam if you’re willing to work hard,” he says in Kiswahili. His chips stand would never survive back home, he adds: “In places like Kigoma there isn’t any cash flow. That’s why so many people come here.”
Abdullah’s tale exemplifies a much larger story, one playing out in cities all across Africa. Africa today is the world’s least urbanized continent, with 43 percent of its population living in urban areas. But high birthrates and rising internal migration mean African cities are entering an era of unprecedented growth.

National Geographic


New Member
I didn't know that fact about Dar es Salaam, and I find it really good that the African city grows in numbers. I'm in the middle of writing my population growth essay and I can mention such fact in it, can't I?

Forum statistics



Top Bottom