The short history of Africa
Cairo may be Africa's biggest city, but Cairo is based around a series of historical settlements and a vast modern conurbation. From Ancient Egyptian to Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and British settlements, many empires have left their mark on the city. Today, over 9 million residents call Cairo home and it is an economic powerhouse not just for Africa but for the Arab world. Lagos is one of Nigeria's biggest cities, and is built around a series of islands and lakes on the Atlantic Coast. The city has expanded since being a trading post for Portuguese and British traders and has also served as the capital of Nigeria. Due to rapid expansion, the capital was moved to Abuja, but Nigeria remains Nigeria's, financial heart. it’s no surprise that Nairobi- in Kenya's capital sprung up in the 1890's around a massive supply depot for the British built railway line that linked Mombasa on the coast with Kampala in Uganda.
After taking capital city status from Mombasa, Nairobi has grown rapidly to a metropolis of around 4 million people. Formerly Leopoldville, Kinshasa is the largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Established in 1881 as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley at the behest of Belgian King Leopold II, the city has boomed as the heart of this vibrant country. Kinshasa is also the largest French speaking city in the world. Johannesburg Established as a settlement in 1886, Jo'burg was built for gold prospectors and miners. It is one of the only major world cities that isn't constructed near to water (river, lake, sea etc). The city boomed as a result of the gold rush and was something of a wild west style frontier town, eventually becoming South Africa's economic and financial heartland in the 1930's and 40's. We dive in deep to explore more of what these African cities have done and have been doing since then.
What recent developments?...
Cairo As the city of Cairo has grown so rapidly, urban planners have designed a new capital, just next to the current one. Construction has already started 40kms east of the metropolis on the still un-named future capital of Egypt- Lagos Eko Atlantic City is still under construction. This modern new neighborhood for Lagos is intended to supply high quality residential and commercial infrastructure as an antidote to the sprawl of this huge city. Nairobi Kenya has nurtured a strong ‘intelligent' city in it's capital Nairobi. Investing in an entrepreneurial broadband based economy means that the city is looking to the future in technology and internet services. Kinshasa One of the biggest developments in Africa, the Grand lnga Dam is still ongoing. Once completed the project should be able to supply power not just to DR Congo, but Angola and South Africa, with a huge economic boost to the country. Johannesburg Gauteng state, where Jo'burg is situated, has unveiled plans to build 5 new cities around Johannesburg. The plan is to build new self-sufficient communities in the metropolitan area with better infrastructure and to merge with neighboring Pretoria by 2030.
What are the most artistic buildings?
Cairo The Egyptian Museum is one of the best looking classical buildings in Cairo. The city is also home to many beautiful mosques, including the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Lagos The Alara clothing store is one of the most striking and modern looking buildings in Lagos. Nairobi Kenya's version of the White House is the State House, the official residence of the president and one of the nicest buildings in the city. Kinshasa The Sozacom building is a striking 1960's style tower in the heart of Kinsha Johannesburg Joburg is home to lots of cool buildings, but the new Alexander Forbes office block is a stunning piece of architecture. Want to know more- we bring you even more amazing building further in.