The Ghanaian capital of Accra is, according to recent data released by MasterCard, the African city with the most potential for inclusive growth, marking the second consecutive year the city has topped the list.
MasterCard’s African Cities Growth Index (ACGI) monitors the continent’s economic outlook based on the urbanization of its cities. Sets of indicators were used to rank the cities’ level of inclusion and forecast potential for growth.
The 74 cities included in the index were organized into three separate categories by population size, after which the cities were ranked based on their inclusive growth potential: high, medium-high, medium-low and low.
Accra was ranked as the only large African city with high inclusive growth potential. According to MasterCard, the city has implemented laws and resources to boost and sustain economic inclusion among its citizens.
“For the second year, Accra ranked well across the assessment criteria and received one of the highest governance scores,” George Angelopulo, a professor of communication science at the University of South Africa and co-author of the ACGI, said. “The city is not Africa’s most populous or richest in terms of per capita GDP, but has made progress towards conditions that are conducive to inclusive urbanization.”
In the large city category, Accra is trailed by the Moroccan city of Casablanca and Freetown in Sierra Leone, both of which have medium-high inclusive growth potential.
Tunis in Tunisia was the top-ranked medium city, followed by Libreville in Gabon and Mauritania’s Nouakchott. Small cities with the highest rankings were Sao Tome, followed by Victoria in Seychelles and Port Louis in Mauritius.
“Inclusive growth and increased financial inclusion, which is a solid component of MasterCard’s business strategy in Africa, are closely interlinked,” Michael Miebach, the president of the Middle East and Africa at MasterCard, said. “Sustained and inclusive development is not possible without appropriate financial services and instruments in place to benefit the under-banked and those excluded from the formal banking system. By supporting and investing in academic research like the ACGI, which provides insights into the opportunities for investment in Africa, MasterCard is providing valuable business intelligence to our teams, our customers and the investment community at large.”