2019

African Cities Keep Ignoring Toddlers

Senegal
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Africa has the fastest growing and youngest population in the world, with 40% of Africans under 15 years old. By 2050, the number of Africans is expected to double to 2.5 billion – with 80% of the growth occurring in cities – and account for 25% of the world's population. Yet, toddlers already lack adequate environments to grow in African cities. Studies show that the first 300 days of life are crucial for the cognitive development of children, but in the face of general indifference the continent risks falling short on a huge human potential. 

The NGO ImagiNation Afrika is looking for solutions to improve public spaces and mobility for children in the most formative years of childhood. Over a five month study, YUX mapped the urban environment of 0 to 3 year olds to offer recommendations for a better adapted city.

Top 5 key findings 

The top 3 places where toddlers play in Dakar are: their home, the beach, and paid private playgrounds

63% of respondents don't know of public spaces in their commune

83% of respondents think the street is the most dangerous space for children

Only 10% rank improving the environment of children as a priority of the municipality

A concerning number of adults believe that there is “no use to doing anything with a toddler between 0-3 years old”

 
Scope & Methodology 

Qualitative: Total of 60 respondents in field interviews, six focus groups, and three co-creation workshops

Quantitative: 311 surveys in Yoff & Sacré Coeur (publics spaces) and Guédiawaye (mobility)

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All key findings in one page