Urban health – Catching up on the future for Ethiopia
As noted by Arup: “Two key features are set to alter Africa’s future: a youthful population and urbanization” (1). Cities are now not only the major centers of livelihood opportunities but also have important impacts on social structures and health (2). Urban living is not new to Ethiopia (3,4) but, as reiterated in articles in this special issue, with urbanization currently at less than 20% (see Figure 1) (5,6), it is one of the least urbanized countries, even by African standards (6,7). Globally, for the first time in history, more people (54% in 2011) live in urban areas (8); compared to only about 20%, mostly in the developed world, a century ago (9). The global urban population ratio is predicted to reach over two-thirds by 2050 (8), with cities destined to define the future of global health (10).