We shall create a shortlist of the cities that, in terms of population and area, are the largest cities in West Africa and all of Africa today. These are what they are:
Largest Cities In West Africa By Population
1. Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, known as a city of opportunities (or Eko, as its residents prefer to call it) takes the top spot. With a population of almost 23.5 million as of 2018, Lagos is the biggest metropolis in Nigeria and the most populous city in Africa. It is also Africa’s most populated conurbation.
The megacity has one of the biggest and busiest seaports on the continent and has Africa’s fourth-highest GDP. Additionally, it is a significant hub for education and culture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Abuja has subsequently taken the place of Lagos as the capital of Nigeria.
Lagos’ cosmopolitan reputation is a result of the influx of young people and families looking for a better life from all across Nigeria and outside.
2. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Abidjan is Ivory Coast’s economic hub and one of the continent’s most populous French-speaking cities is Abidjan. Abidjan had 4.7 million residents as of the 2014 census, approximately 20% of the nation’s total population.
In terms of population, it is Africa’s sixth-most populated metropolis after Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam, and Johannesburg.
Abidjan has been referred to as the nation’s “economic capital” because it is both the largest city and the hub of economic activity.
3. Accra, Ghana
Accra, the capital of Ghana, has an area of 225.67 km2 (87.13 sq mi) and is expected to have 4.2 million urban residents in few years. Twelve local government districts make up this region: the Accra Metropolitan District, the only district with city status, and eleven municipal districts.
People in Accra work in a variety of industries, including finance and trade, fishing, and the manufacturing of processed foods, plywood, textiles, apparel, and chemicals.
4. Abuja, Nigeria
One of the largest cities in West Africa is Abuja. Abuja, the capital and eighth-most populous city of Nigeria, is at position number 4. It is a planned city located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the middle of the nation that was constructed in the 1980s based on a master design by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. It became the capital of Lagos, the largest metropolis in Nigeria, on December 12, 1991.
The city continued to develop at a rate of at least 35% annually as of 2015, making it one of the fastest-growing cities worldwide and the fastest-growing metropolis on the African continent.
5. Kano, Nigeria
With more than four million residents crammed into a 449 km2 (173 sq mi) area, Kano is Nigeria’s second-largest metropolis after Lagos. Kano is a significant trans-Saharan commercial route and is situated south of the Sahara. The city has been a hub for trade and habitation for ages.
The population of the city, one of the seven medieval Hausa kingdoms, is estimated at 4.1 million as of 2021, with the majority of them being Hausa. The city became prosperous and was recognized as the commercial hub of the area and Northern Nigeria after Islam arrived there in the 11th century or earlier, mostly through trans-Saharan trade. To this day, it is still referred to as the “center of commerce.”
6. Ibadan, Nigeria
With a total population of 3,649,000 as of 2021 and a metropolitan population of more than 6 million, it is one of Nigeria’s major cities by population after Lagos and Kano.
Ibadan, which is located in the southwest of Nigeria, acts as a crucial conduit between the country’s coastal region and its interior. The majority of the city’s residents are Yoruba, along with a number of ethnic groups from other regions of the nation, especially the Igbo, Hausa, and Efik.
Agro-allied, textiles, food processing, health care and cosmetics, tobacco processing and cigarette manufacturing, leatherwork, and other industries are present in and around the city.
7. Kumasi , Ghana
The city is situated in Ghana’s Ashanti Region. An estimated 3.3 million people live in Kumasi, also called the Garden City (as of 2020). It is the second-largest city in Ghana after Accra, the capital.
The financial and commercial sectors, together with pottery, clothes, and textiles, are all part of Kumasi’s economy. The demands of Ghanaians are also met by a sizable population in Kumasi that specializes in timber processing.
8. Dakar, Senegal
In 2021, the Dakar metropolitan area is projected to have a population of 3.94 million, compared to Main Dakar’s 1,030,594 residents today. Traditional Senegalese culture places a strong emphasis on the idea of family. This also applies to the way they eat.
A customary meal will be served with the phrase “kay lekk,” which means “come eat.” The group will assemble around the plate and use their hands to eat. Dakar’s general etiquette is relatively straightforward but crucial.
Not extending a greeting upon first meeting someone shows disrespect and, in some situations, stupidity. The World Festival of Black Arts, the International Film Festival of Dakar’s Quarter, and the Dakar Biennale are just a few of the national and international festivals that are held in Dakar.
9. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou serves as the nation’s administrative, communications, cultural, and economic hub and is Burkina Faso’s capital. With a 2019 population of 2,453,496 people, it is also the largest city in the nation. The main industries of the ouagalais are food processing and textile manufacturing.
In addition to having a rail connection to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and, for freight only, Kaya, Ouagadougou, also has an international airport. The market in Ouagadougou, which burned destroyed in 2003 but has since been rebuilt with better amenities and fire-prevention measures, is one of the biggest in West Africa.
10. Benin City, Nigeria
Benin City serves as both the state capital and the main metropolis of Nigeria’s most southern state, Edo. It is Nigeria’s fourth-largest city with 1,782,000 residents as of 2021, behind Lagos, Kano, and Ibadan.
The hub of Nigeria’s rubber industry is Benin City. It was the focal point of the Edo kingdom of Benin, which flourished between the 13th and the 19th centuries. Prior to being destroyed by a British punitive assault in 1897, it had significant trading ties with Portugal.
The “bini” are people who speak various dialects of the Edo language. They also have one of the most elaborate dress cultures on the African continent, complete with anklets, bangles, body markings, and other jewelry.