Accra, Lusaka and Luanda, the capital cities of Ghana, Zambia and Angola respectively, have been identified as the Sub-Saharan African cities that have the highest potential for growth over the next five years, according to the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index. As the entire African continent with its population of over 1 billion people is going through a fundamental transformation, this new Index puts a spotlight on the economic and human factors driving urban growth over the next five years. The Index, produced on behalf of MasterCard by Professor George Angelopulo of the University of South Africa (UNISA), was launched today at the second Africa Knowledge Forum hosted by MasterCard in Johannesburg, convening thought leaders from academic, business and government sectors. The Forum explores how cities across Africa are playing an increasingly important role in driving national and regional growth, how they need to compete on the global stage in order to attract inward investment, and how these cities urgently need to manage their natural and human resources more effectively as they grow. The MasterCard African Cities Growth Index was developed in the final quarter of 2012 and analysed 19 cities across Sub-Saharan Africa ranking them according to their growth potential between 2012 and 2017. The Index rankings were developed from published historical and projected data on typical factors that impact cities' growth rates, including: economic data, governance levels, ease of doing business, infrastructure and human development factors, and population growth levels. Of the 19 researched cities, Accra, the capital city of Ghana, was ranked as having the highest growth potential, followed by Lusaka and Luanda, that were both identified as having medium-high growth potential. “Some of the key reasons for Accra emerging as a high growth city include: its gross domestic product per capita growth over the past three years, its projected population and household consumption growth, its strong regulatory environment, and the relative ease of doing business in this city, compared to other African cities,” said Professor Angelopulo.