Reference documents - West African Futures


West African Long-term Perspective Study (WALTP)

Sahel and West Africa Club/OECD, 1998

This study contributed to gain a better understanding of the main trends that have dictated change in the region over the past half a century, and reflected upon the direction of change over the next three decades. It proposed a set of hypotheses regarding the direction of future change, in order to develop a sketch of the region around the year 2020. It remains a key reference for West African development issues and prospects today.

“Reshaping Economic Geography”

2009 World Development Report, World Bank

"Economic growth will be unbalanced, but development still can be inclusive." This Report discusses the spatial transformations that also must happen for countries to develop. Higher densities, shorter distances, and lower divisions will remain essential for economic success in the foreseeable future. They should be encouraged. With them will come unbalanced growth. When accompanied by policies for integration calibrated to the economic geography of nations, these changes also will bring inclusive development—sooner, not much later.



Africapolis: Urbanisation dynamics 1950-2020: a geo-statistical approach”

AFD, SEDET, CNRS/Université Paris Diderot 2009

The Africapolis study provides an important knowledge update on urbanization in West Africa. The project crossed demographic data, lists of cities, satellite pictures, identifies inhabited areas and integrated West Africa into a global cities database (e-Geopolis). Maps and results from this geostatistical approach make a marked improvement on the way African urbanization is usually interpreted, such as can be seen with UN statistics. > learn more


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