Africa: Which are the Most and least Expensive Cities on the continent?

A STUDY released by Mercer showed that the capital city of Chad, N’Djamena, ranked as the most expensive city for expatriates, while Zambia’s Lusaka came in as the least expensive.

The New York-based consulting firm conducted a global survey in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which showed that half of the world’s 10 most expensive cities for expatriates are in Asia.

N’Djamena, which earned top spot for Africa, ranked 13th on the global list ahead of major developed cities such as New York, London, Copenhagen, Sydney and Milan.

According to the statement released by Mercer, the study is meant to provide insight for multinationals looking to relocate and for human resource leaders to attract the right skills when recruiting as more expensive destinations become more costly.

‘More organisations are introducing virtual assignments, where an employee performs the same job remotely as they would do if they were to relocate to the host location,’ said Stevens Kawoubouga, a senior associate at Mercer Africa.

‘For example, a professional based in Ghana would be able to perform tasks and be responsible for operations in Kenya… Alternatively, organisations could start hiring more local foreign talents to fill in the gaps in their talent acquisition programmes,’ he said.

Kawoubouga added that N’Djamena remains the most expensive city in Africa for another year as the Chadian economy continues to recover from the pressures of a plummeting oil price and growing debts.

The capital city of Zambia, Lusaka, has become a more attractive destination for expatriates and is currently the cheapest city in Africa, followed by Tunisia’s Tunis and Windhoek in Namibia.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is slowly recovering from its worst recession in four decades and the city of Lagos came in second as the most expensive city for expatriates, followed by Libreville (Gabon), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and Bangui (Central African Republic).

In South Africa, Cape Town remains a more expensive city to live in than Johannesburg, and both cities moved up in the global rankings to 178 and 184, respectively.

13 N’Djamena Chad

30 – Bangui, Central African Republic
38 – Brazzaville, Congo
49 – Yaoundé, Cameroon
56 – Dakar, Senegal
85 – Abuja, Nigeria
87 – Accra, Ghana
99 – Niamey, Niger
113 – Cotonou, Benin
114 – Casablanca, Morocco
123 – Luanda, Angola
126 – Bamako, Mali
136 – Lome, Togo
137 – Cairo, Egypt
142 – Harare, Zimbabwe
145 – Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
146 – Nairobi, Kenya
167 – Dare es salaam, Tanzania
171 – Kampala, Uganda
175 – Kigali, Rwanda
178 – Cape Town, South Africa
179 – Maputo, Mozambique
184 – Johannesburg, South Africa
194 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
200 – Banjul, Gambia
204 – Windhoek, Namibia
206 – Tunis, Tunisia
208 – Lusaka, Zambia

By Africafrique and agencies

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