11 awe-inspiring African cities that are changing the face of urban living in the future.

Imagine a futuristic landscape where gleaming silver spires lined with effervescent lights rise like fabricated flowers from a green, expansive plain, stretching up toward the sun...

Probably not what comes to mind when you think about Africa, huh?

You might be surprised to learn that the second largest continent on the planet is also home to some of the world's most futuristic cities — and there are plans to build even more.


In fact, an estimated 70% of the African population is expected to live in one of these remarkable urban developments within the next decade.

Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself.

Here are five futuristic African cities that already exist, plus six more that are being built.

1. Luanda, Angola

The Angolan capital city of Luanda is already being called the World's Most Expensive City — but as the city grows and grows, people there are also using an expansive mobile phone network to provide quick and easy access to clean water for all citizens, regardless of their income.

Photo via ben sedin/YouTube.

2. Durban, South Africa

That crazy lookin' spaceship below is actually a multi-use sports stadium, and it's only one of the many stunning buildings popping up in the area. The buildings are designed with technology and infrastructure that actively address issues of poverty, crime, and environmental sustainability.

Photo by South African Tourism/Flickr.

3. Ebène Cyber City, Mauritius

The island nation of Mauritius is more than just the basis of a really expensive stamp. The self-contained "smart city" also hosts the internet registry platform for the entire continent, and it boasted high-speed access for all of its citizens well before most other cities in the world did.

Living in Ebène Cyber City is basically like living in a spaceship in the middle of the Indian Ocean that you never have to leave unless you want to.

Photo by Starts/Wikimedia Commons.

4. Kigali, Rwanda

The Rwandan capital is the cleanest city on the entire African continent, which probably contributes to its shimmering, space-like qualities.

And with a population that's expected to triple in the next five years or so, Kigali's ambitious plans for expansion include some impressive sustainability efforts that are both affordable and accessible for people of all incomes and abilities.

Photo by Alex Niragira/Flickr.

5. Nairobi's Financial Centre, Kenya

The Kenyan capital is already being heralded as Africa's Most Intelligent City thanks to its vested interest in creating an integrated, tech-friendly community that connects living and working through and with the convenience of a smartphone.

Recent renovations are turning the downtown financial center into an international destination business hub as well, helping this ecologically sustainable city become economically sustainable as well.

Photo by Msamaria190/Wikimedia Commons.

6. Konza Technology City, Kenya

While we're still years away from seeing the full realization of Kenya's new "technolopolis" — ground was broken on the project in March 2016 — this multibillion-dollar "silicon savannah" aims to be the next big tech industry epicenter of tomorrow.


Rendering via ICT Authority Kenya/YouTube.

7. Safari City, Tanzania

Safari City is just one of several "satellite cities" planned for Tanzania's Arusha region, with a plan to mix affordable and luxury properties in each self-contained urban environment. This will hopefully enable people at every income level to live, work, and play without having to leave their cutting-edge homes.

Rendering via Nhc Tanzania/YouTube.

8. La Cite du Fleuve, Democratic Republic of Congo

This magnificent metropolitan mecca is actually being built on a reclaimed swampland adjacent to the DRC capital of Kinshasa — which might sound weird, until you realize that people are already calling it "the New Manhattan."

But with floating villages already popping up around the country as citizens flee from armed conflicts, building sustainable infrastructures is the obvious next step.

Rendering via Christian Mutombo/YouTube.

9. Eko Atlantic City in Lagos, Nigeria

Another landfill development, the up-and-coming Eko Atlantic City on Lagos' Victoria Island, is being built with plans to house 250,000 people and create 150,000 new jobs as "the new gateway to Africa."

This ambitious housing project will be powered entirely through self-sustaining green energy sources.

Rendering via Urban Lab McGill/YouTube.

10. Hope City, Ghana

In this case, "Hope" is actually an acronym for home, office, people, and environment. With its movie theaters, restaurants, sports centers, university, and hospital, this high-tech hub will actually create twice as many jobs as there is room to live there.

On top of all that, one of those rocket-ship-esque buildings will potentially become the new tallest building in Africa.

Rendering via OBR/Vimeo.

11. Centenary City in Abuja, Nigeria

Though it's still in its earliest stages, the Centenary City project is expected to revolutionize the entire Nigerian economy by creating a world-class urban destination integrated with biometric technologies and optimized for pedestrian, bicycle, and mass public transit.

Rendering via Centenary City Official/YouTube.

While some of these stunning urban centers are still years from completion, it's pretty remarkable to see these futuristic cityscapes take form on the African horizon.

It can be all too easy for us to reduce the African continent to a singular entity of rural poverty, but it's important to remember that there are many distinct, rich cultures spread throughout the more than 50 countries and 12 million square miles of land that make up the continent, and each has its own ideas to offer to the world.

So sure, there are some things to look out for when it comes to any kind of major urbanization projects. But even those are different problems than the ones that we tend to associate with Africa.

That's why these amazing new cities are so remarkable: They represent a chance for these countries to make their mark on the global maps of tomorrow and remind us that the brightest innovations are just around the savanna corner.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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