Lagos, Nigeria

long, remarkable New Yorker article on the madness that is Lagos, Nigeria.

In 1950, fewer than three hundred thousand people lived in Lagos. In the second half of the twentieth century, the city grew at a rate of more than six per cent annually. It is currently the sixth-largest city in the world, and it is growing faster than any of the world's other megacities (the term used by the United Nations Center for Human Settlements for "urban agglomerations" with more than ten million people). By 2015, it is projected, Lagos will rank third, behind Tokyo and Bombay, with twenty-three million inhabitants.

When I first went to Lagos, in 1983, it already had a fearsome reputation among Westerners and Africans alike. Many potential visitors were kept away simply by the prospect of getting through the airport, with its official shakedowns and swarming touts. Once you made it into the city, a gantlet of armed robbers, con men, corrupt policemen, and homicidal bus drivers awaited you.

Full article mirrored here as New Yorker not showing it.

Posted on March 5, 2007 and filed under Global Economy.