This article has been edited and was first published on January 19, 2017.
Whether called a “slum,” “ghetto,” or “shanty town,” they all have one thing in common: they are sprawling unplanned settlements that have grown on the fringes of major urban centers to provide much-needed housing to some of the world’s poorest.
Over time, slums have often been criticized by city officials and law enforcement as a sanctuary for all types of crime and vices despite the fact that, in most cases, governments have neglected such settlements.
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In most slums, poverty is widespread, violent crime is abundant, and basic public utilities, including clean water, reliable electricity, and law enforcement services, are absent.
While it is easy to associate slums and their inhabitants with all kinds of vices, there have also been inspiring stories of hope, perseverance, and progress from many of Africa’s slum dwellers. Here are six of the most notorious slums of Africa.