Pro Case African Urbanization

This was my first debate case, so don’t expect it to be great. I’ve improved substantially, and so hopefully this will give you an idea for what a beginner case looks like. The format for this debate was Public Forum.

Contention 1: Urbanisation in Africa Will Lead to economic growth 

A more centralized economy increases Foreign Direct Investment:

According to CEPII, in China FDI in coastal areas, the most urbanised regions of China, has increased. CEPII finds cities are more friendly to FDI. Rwanda, a nation in Central Africa has one of the most modern capitals in Africa, Kigali. The effects of this trade hub couldn’t be more evident. The Rwandan economy has grown, now five times larger than it was in 2000. In comparison, Burundi, a neighbor with a similar population has only seen 60% of that growth. Burundi has 46% less people living in cities per capita, and Foreign Direct Investment accounts for 115 times more GDP in Rwanda than in Burundi.

The impact:

CEPII also attributes the massive economic growth in coastal areas to increase in exports. This could benefit West African nations, especially ones that are agriculture dependent. FDI could lift millions of people out of poverty.

Contention 2: Urbanisation in Africa leads to more education

A more educated population leads to continued economic growth:

According to Newsecuritybeat.org, urban populations in Nigeria, the most populous country in West Africa, are on average 27.5 percent more likely to go to a secondary school than rural populations. We find that urbanization also levels out gender inequality, as females are 34% more likely to attend secondary school in cities. 

The impact:

According to McKinsey, more than 60 percent of the West African population is employed in agriculture, but only 23% of West Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture. Ourworldindata finds that on average, less educated countries gain 1% of their GDP for a 1% growth in years of schooling. More education leads to better jobs, and the resulting increase in income grows spending and the economy. 

Contention 3: Urbanisation will lead to a healthier population and a less polluted Africa

A more dense population leads to more utility access:

With more people in the same place, cities have hospital access, unlike rural towns in West Africa. According to Vox, the leading cause of early death in Africa is disease. A closer hospital can prevent deaths, and can make vaccinations easier. More widespread access to basic sanitary needs such as clean water, A/C and more modern health education all lead to a much lower mortality rate from cholera and other common diseases. With a healthier population, more people are able to extend their lifespan and work more effectively, helping the economy. 

A city life is more carbon efficient:

In rural towns, most of the economy is based on agriculture, a machinery-heavy industry. In comparison, most cities have service based economies, emitting less carbon, and producing less smog and pollution. In cities, transportation is shared and short. In rural towns, accessing most resources requires cars, an expensive and carbon producing mode of transportation, where burning of biofuels is commonplace.

The impact:

The first is a growing young population:

The rapid population growth will be the ultimate test of strength for African nations. 7.69% percent of Sub-saharan African children die before the age of 5. With this projected population growth, alleviating pressure on hospitals, especially undersupplied hospitals in rural towns will be key to lowering the rate to 1%, the maximum early death rate in developed nations. 

The second is pollution:

Pollution in Africa is a major problem. Some of the most polluted cities in the world are in Africa, and unclean places can lead to disease, and death. With more people in Africa, pollution will become rampant unless measures only available through urbanization are taken.

Thus we affirm.

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