Accra ranked first in MasterCard’s African cities growth review

Ghana’s capital Accra beat 18 Sub-Saharan cities to emerge as the urban area with the highest growth potential in research carried out by global payments leader MasterCard.

Kenyan capital Nairobi, the largest in East and Central Africa, ranked sixth, falling behind neighbouring Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam and Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the study, although it managed to outdo continental heavyweights Johannesburg, Cape Town and Lagos.

The report, that considered previous data from other surveys by the World Bank and Canback Danglar, considered among other factors GDP per capita growth, governance factors, doing business, population growth, national urbanisation and middle household growth.

According to MasterCard’s President for the Middle East and Africa Michael Miebach, the study will above all help the company understand the challenges and opportunities in electronic payments in the African continent as the global payments processing company seeks more partnerships in the continent.

“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,” Miebach said.

Prof. George Angelopulo from the University of South Africa said the continent must maximise on its potential of being the magnet of investments and growth in the area of innovation and being business environment friendly.

“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,” he added.

Other regional cities in the assessment included Lusaka and Luanda, positioned two and three respectively, while Abidjan and Khartoum were ranked second last and last in that order.

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