The most expensive city in Africa

 ·30 Jun 2018

Mercer has released the results of its 24th Cost of Living survey, ranking cities around the world.

According to the report, two South African cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg have gone up in their ranking from 199 to 170 and from 191 to 177 respectively.

Despite dropping off the top spot on the global list, Luanda, Angola (6) remains the highest-ranking city in Africa. This drop has been primarily because of the downward trend in the housing market and the depreciation of the local currency to the USD, making it more attractive for foreign investments and also cheaper for foreigners to live in.

N’Djamena (8) follows, rising seven places. Moving up fourteen spots, Libreville (18) is the next African city on the list, followed by Brazzaville, Congo (19), which moved up eleven places.

As compared to last year’s report, some African countries like Cape Town in South Africa and Tunis in Tunisia have seen a noticeable increase in accommodation related rentals.

Whereas the opposite has been recorded for Cairo, Egypt where the rental value, especially for houses have dropped.

“Multinationals cannot approach their expatriate packages for Africa with one broad brush stroke,” said Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, senior mobility consultant at Mercer.

“For example, Luanda in Angola has been listed as the 6th most expensive city in the world, whereas Windhoek in neighbouring Namibia comes in at the 196th position in terms of cost of living, highlighting that each African country has its own unique economy.”

New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

The survey includes over 375 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (5), Luanda (6), Shanghai (7), N’Djamena (8), Beijing (9), and Bern (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates are Tashkent (209), Tunis (208), and Bishkek (207).

Due to the strengthening of the local currencies to the US Dollar, N’djamena (Chad) and Bejing (China) are the two new additions to the list of top 10 cities.

According to the report, factors like instability of housing markets, low inflation and fluctuating prices for goods and services are impacting the cost of doing business in various countries in the continent.

Here are the top and bottom 10, along with South Africa’s cities:

# City Country
1 Hong Kong
2 Tokyo Japan
3 Zurich Switzerland
4 Singapore Singapore
5 Seoul South Korea
6 Luanda Angola
7 Shanghai China
8 Ndjamena Chad
9 Beijing China
10 Bern Switzerland
170 Cape Town South Africa
177 Johannesburg South Africa
200 Managua Nicaragua
201 Tegucigalpa Honduras
202 Minsk Belarus
203 Tbilisi Georgia
204 Blantyre Malawi
205 Karachi Pakistan
206 Banjul Gambia
207 Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
208 Tunis Tunisia
209 Tashkent Uzbekistan

Read: The world’s most expensive city is in Africa

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