In the shifting landscape of African cities, Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report offers a striking perspective on how social, geopolitical, and technological changes are reshaping the world’s urban centres. This year’s report underscores a significant theme: the rise of emerging cities, challenging the traditional dominance of established global hubs.
According to the recently released Kearney Global Cities Report 2023, emerging cities are on the rise, posing a challenge to traditional global hubs.
The report highlights a marked improvement in African cities while leading US and Chinese cities have fallen in the ranking.
Among the top African cities in the index are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Accra, and Lagos.
The Global Cities Index (GCI) evaluates cities across five critical dimensions: human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, political engagement, and business activity.
This year, a notable trend is the steady average GCI scores across cities following years of decline. Significantly, the human capital dimension also saw a rise attributed to the revival of international movement to pre-pandemic levels. African cities, in particular, have shown a marked improvement.
According to the report, the average rank of African cities rose to 104th, mainly from the business activity dimension.
According to the report, the continent’s average rank rose to 104th, mainly from the business activity dimension. The report also noted that political engagement continues to be the strongest dimension for African cities, reflecting their increasing role on the global stage.
According to the index, Johannesburg, South Africa’s urban jewel, remained at the fifty-eighth (58th) position in the GCI due to improvements in human capital and political engagement bolstering the city’s performance. However, the city faced declines in information exchange and cultural experience, illustrating the competitive nature of the global urban arena.
Cape Town, another major player, experienced a slight dip, dropping to the eighty-fourth (84th) spot on the index. The decline across three GCI dimensions is partly due to intensified global competition for talent and changing business dynamics. Despite this, the city made strides in the information exchange dimension, boosted by its growing online presence.
Nairobi, Kenya, also faced a setback, dropping four spots to eighty-sixth (86th). This decline, driven by a decrease in information exchange and a slight dip in business activity, highlights the challenges and fluctuations in the global city hierarchy.
On a positive note, Accra, Ghana, saw a positive movement, climbing in the overall GCI rank to 104th, a jump from its previous positions in 2022 and 2021. This progress reflects the city’s growing influence and capabilities in the business and political spheres.
Lagos, Nigeria, also rose three spots to 109th, marked by improved business activity and human capital, signalling the city’s burgeoning role in the global urban network.
On the international scene, traditionally leading US and Chinese cities fell in the ranking, while Middle Eastern cities, particularly the Gulf capitals, significantly improved their overall scores.