Luanda, the metropolitan capital of Angola, is the most expensive city in Africa – and in the world — for expats and expatriates. This is according to the 2015 Cost of Living Survey published by U.S- based Mercer Consulting.

This survey by Mercer Consulting gauged the costs of living in over 200 countries across five continents, using prices of items such as food, housing, clothing, transport, and household goods as main indicators. Published annually, the survey, guides multinational corporations and governments in determining appropriate compensation packages for expatriate employees.

According to the Press release published on Mercer’s website:

“New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against New York. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expatriates – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked.” 


Luanda, AngolaN’Djamena, ChadKinshasa, Republic of CongoLagos, NigeriaConakry, GuineaAbuja, NigeriaBrazzaville, Republic of CongoDjibouti, DjiboutiAbidjan, Ivory Coast

Here is the list of ten most expensive cities in Africa

1. Luanda, Angola

2. N’Djamena, Chad

3. Kinshasa, Republic of Congo

4. Lagos, Nigeria

5. Conakry, Guinea

6. Libreville, Gabon

7. Abuja, Nigeria

8.  Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

9. Djibouti, Djibouti

10. Abidjan, Cote D’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

The cost of living in most African cities has increased significantly in recent years, as evidenced by the 10 most expensive cities to live in Africa. Africa has several cities that are beyond the means of an average person to live. An average Angolan might have a hard time living in Luanda. In fact, the cost of living in some African cities outstrips even ten most expensive cities in North America according to Insider Monkey. This is an astounding fact considering that most of the countries in North America are developed, with a high standard of living, while African countries are either underdeveloped or developing, which in turn should equate to a low cost of living.

Even in the cities featured in this list, most of the citizens live in extreme poverty partly exacerbated by the increased cost of living. Also, the cost of living in most of the cities in this list has been as a result of oil wealth or other valuable resources but the profit from such resources has not been redistributed equitably. It is important to note that the cost of living is from the expatriate’s point of view, which might be very different from the experiences of locals. For instance, expatriates usually shop and dine at places very different from those used by locals. All in all, it is worth knowing your city is expensive but you shouldn’t boast about that fact.

Among the least expensive cities in the world and in Africa are Windhoek (Namibia), Tunis (Tunisia), and Cape Town (South Africa).