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Urban Population in Zambezi River Basin States

Zambezi River Basin countries share similar settlement patterns characterized by both low and high densities. While the basin is largely rural, urbanization rates are high. In Botswana and Angola, urban population constitute more than 60 per cent (SADC and SARDC 2008), and is projected to exceed 80 per cent by 2050 (UNHABITAT 2010). At just more than 25 per cent (UN-HABITAT 2010), Malawi is the least urbanized country in the basin, and yet the most densely populated. The majority of Malawi’s urban residents live in the major towns of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba (Chenje 2000). Mining is the key driver of Zambia’s urbanization. As a result, 85 per cent of the country’s urban residents are concentrated in the two provinces of the Copperbelt and Lusaka. Copper is the country’s major export mineral. About 46 per cent of Zimbabwe’s population lived in urban areas as at 2010 (UNE-HABITAT 2010), and this ratio is projected to increase to about 65 per cent by 2050. The country’s largest city, Harare, is located in the basin, while the second city, Bulawayo, is on the basin’s margins. There are plans to draw water for the city of Bulawayo from the Zambezi River.

Year: 2013

From collection: Zambezi River Basin - Atlas of the changing Environment

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal

Tags: Africa Environmental Atlas

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