Africa is projected to have the fastest urban growth rate in the world – by 2050, Africa’s cities will be home to an additional 950 million people. Africapolis is a geo-spatial database on cities and urbanisation dynamics covering 7,600 agglomerations in 50 countries, including unique information on secondary cities and small towns, home to 260 million Africans. The Global Human Settlement Layer produces consistent and harmonised spatial information on settlements and population from 1975 to 2015, and it includes other indicators in the Urban Centres Database. Based on these information and modelling tools, both, Africapolis and the FOCUS-Africa project aim at providing a better understanding of current and future urbanisation trends in Africa. The new data generated aim to improve policy makers’ and researchers’ capacity to better target resources and develop policies that support a managed urban transition.