Accra beat 18 Sub-Saharan cities to emerge as the urban area with the highest growth potential in a research carried out by global payments leader MasterCard.

The report considered previous data from other surveys by the World Bank considered, among other factors, GDP per capita growth, governance factors, doing business, population growth, national urbanization and middle household growth.

The capital of Zambia, Lusaka and Luanda in Angola placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.

According to MasterCard, the study will above all help the company understand the challenges and opportunities in electronic payments in the African continent as the company seeks more partnerships on the continent.

Kenyan capital Nairobi, the largest in East and Central Africa, ranked sixth, falling behind neighbouring Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam and Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa although it managed to outdo continental heavyweights Johannesburg, Cape Town and Lagos.

“We are committed to understanding the needs and challenges that consumers, businesses and financial institutions face as we partner with local stakeholders to enable economic growth through the increased adoption of electronic payments. African nations have taken the lead in moving toward a world beyond cash that is also a world of greater financial inclusion and economic empowerment,” Miebach said.

Prof. George Angelopulo from the University of South Africa said the continent must maximise on its potential of being the magnet of investments and growth in the area of innovation and being business environment friendly.

“One of Africa’s key economic and social challenges is how its cities attract significant inward investment by being globally competitive, serving as magnets for investment and growth, hot-spots of innovation and, most importantly, developing attractive and thriving business environments,” he added.


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