Top 10 Most Developed Cities In Africa (2023)

Thanks to the media’s stereotypical coverage, Africa is automatically perceived as an undeveloped continent full of huts and caves. A look at the most developed cities in Africa is all it takes to see how far the continent has come since the days of colonialism. Africa can boast cities of equal development to many in Europe and America- and many of these cities are still young and growing.

Some of Africa’s most developed cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Dakar are economically important not only to the continent but to the world. They are centers of trade, finance, fashion, and education. These are international hubs of activity, where citizens of the world converge to share ideas, exchange goods, and services and enjoy recreational activities.

Residential Quarters, Business Centers, Shopping Malls, Parks, Zoos, Theaters, stadiums, and everything else that makes cities come alive can be found in numbers in these cities. They therefore easily attract people from all cultures, all over the world, some of who feel right at home in Africa as they do in their home countries.

Top 10 Most Developed Cities In Africa

1. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, in South Africa, is a city of impressive natural beauty and unquestionable architectural genius. This city has a population of about 4,710,000 making it the second-largest in South Africa. Cape Town is important as one of the three capitals of South Africa, but it has developed into something extraordinary.

Cape Town is naturally endowed with mild and agreeable weather, beautiful beaches, efficient harbors, and a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Cape Town has developed into arguably Africa’s finest city; Downtown Cape Town is a collection of impressive buildings that are tall and modern. When seen from the air it looks like New York.

Cape Town’s hotels are exquisite; they are frequented by important people from all over the world who come in to do business, or just to enjoy themselves. The Cape Town Stadium, which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is something to behold. It is one of the most impressive stadiums in the world at the moment- a fine blend of architecture and technology.

2. Port Louis, Mauritius

Port Louis in Mauritius is largely agreed to be one of the most developed cities in the whole of Africa. Keep in mind that Mauritius is an island country that is frequented by people from all over the world.

Port Louis has a population of about 147,000, and that does not include the visitors on short visits from outside the country. Port Louis is so beautiful and with years of history behind it, the city is impressively well developed.

Port Louis has beautiful architecture; it reflects the colonial history of the country and the importance of the city in today’s world. For example; the Government House in Port Louis was built in 1738 and is an impressive European Style building built by the French.

The Caudian Waterfront is another amazing development; this is a residential area that has been recently developed, but that looks like a mix between an ancient Roman Villa, and a modern estate.

Other notable features of the city include The Jummah Mosque, Saint James Cathedral, and the Indian Tamil Temple. The Hotel industry represents a major factor that keeps Port Louis busy; these well-built and well-managed businesses offer comfort, with all the modern facilities, and exquisite cuisine to all who come in for a taste of Port Louis.

3.  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia is an ancient, culturally rich country; and its capital Addis Ababa is a refreshing sight to behold.  With a population of about 2,739,551 this is the biggest city in the country, and one of the most historically important places on the continent.

Meskel Square in Addis Ababa is a convergence of artfully designed skyscrapers and tall buildings that would rival even the most developed cities anywhere in the world. This is an amazing concentration of wealth and productivity; a hub for international business. Sheraton Addis is one of the most impressive hospitality establishments on display anywhere in the world, and it takes care of the huge number of visitors coming into the city; giving them great memories of the city.

The transport system is efficient; the roads are wide and free, and there is the option of the Addis Ababa Light Rail, which is a very efficient and fast way of getting around.

4.  Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is the richest city in Africa, and it is no surprise that it is also one of the most developed on the continent. The city was founded during the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886, and so right from the onset there was money for development, and rich gold prospectors converged to turn the land into one of the finest and most affluent places in Africa.

The city center spots skyscrapers topped by the Carlton Center Office Tower. The city also has other important features such as the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Nelson Mandela Square, and of course Montecasino which is frequented by gamblers from all over the world. Wits University is an important center for learning; it has made several important contributions to technology; and attracts international students from all over the world.

5. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Many would be surprised to find Tanzania’s capital on this list, and ahead of more popular cities as well. However, Dar Es Salaam has been going through a great period of development over the last few years, and this has culminated in it becoming one of Africa’s most impressive cities. Dar Es Salaam is a beautiful city that is built around a body of water.

This is one of the few port cities in the world where one can come out of a skyscraper, and then take a boat ride to another part of the city for a meeting in another skyscraper. The city center is lined with impressive commercial buildings as well as big hotels. The transport system in the city is well organized; you can take a bus, taxi, or travel by boat.

Many people go to Dar Es Salaam just for the boat cruises on the ferries. The port is very important not just to Tanzania; but to the whole region, and the Tanzania National Stadium is an important sporting center.

6.  Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Abidjan is the capital and biggest city on the Ivory Coast. This city has a population of about 4.7 million people and is one of the most historically significant places in West Africa. Abidjan is one of the most important French-speaking cities in Africa, and it used to be one of the biggest trading hubs on the continent.

Abidjan’s city center is a convergence of tall buildings and skyscrapers. The city center is faced by the waterways, which lead up to the port. The port is one of great importance, and it brings in goods and services from all over the world to Abidjan.

The transport system is also quite well organized; options include the waterways, roads, and air.

7. Tunis, Tunisia

Tunis has always been one of the most impressive cities in Africa. Tunisia’s capital city has a population of around 700,000 people and is a center of history, culture, commerce, and tourism. This important port city is one of the most visited places in North Africa.

The skyline is a mash-up of imposing structures, skyscrapers, and older buildings that reflect the traditional North African architecture. Some of the notable features of Tunis include Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Avenue 14 – Janvier 2011, and Sidi Bou Said.

8. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos is the most populous city in Africa with a population of about 23 million people. This is the commercial capital of Nigeria and West Africa and was the seat of government in Nigeria for a time. Lagos is a cultural melting pot; a place where you will find people from almost all cultures of the world.

The skyline of the City Center (Marina) is lined with skyscrapers. These are mostly banks and other financial institutions. These financial institutions basically power the city; Lagos is a hub of trade, and trade needs financial services to function.

The Muritala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos is one of the busiest on the continent; it is the major hub for air traffic in the region. It is also an important transit point for many parts of Africa.

Lagos has some of the biggest hotels in Africa, and the nightlife is legendary. Transportation is very well organized in the major parts of the city, and the city is very secure.

9. Algiers, Algeria

Algiers is sometimes called the Paris of North Africa. This is the Capital city of Algeria; and one of the most beautiful places in North Africa. Algiers is a French-speaking city; one of the few places in North Africa where Europeans feel very much at home, going about their daily business as if they were back in Europe. Of course, the presence of the Europeans has also rubbed off on the local culture.

Algiers is one of the most visited cities in North Africa; for that reason, it has developed very good tourism industry. Some of the hotels in Algiers are very beautiful; they are stunning reminders that the Mediterranean culture is something to behold.

Algiers is lined with beautiful sand beaches, and that is no doubt one of the reasons why it is so popular with tourists.

10.  Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana’s capital city Gaborone also boasts a level of development that rivals any other on the continent. The secret to Gaborone’s rapid development lies in the fact that it is both an economic epicenter, and a tourist’s haven.

Gaborone, like much of Botswana, is mineral-rich. That attracts investors and workers alike; some are in search of investment opportunities, and others are in search of how to make a living. However, the best thing about Gaborone is that people do not have to travel far in order to enjoy themselves because the city has enough exotic hotels, and relaxation centers, to fill that need.



The most developed cities in Africa are usually old colonial cities that have managed to retain their attractiveness. In order to remain attractive; they have to generate wealth. Africa’s most developed cities are therefore some of the richest cities on the continent. It is that potential for wealth creation that causes the rapid development that we can observe today.