Top 10 Most Expensive Cities In Africa 2020

The continent of Africa is known to be home to most of the poorest nations and people of the world. It is therefore quite surprising that the continent also boasts of some of the most expensive cities to live. In fact, when considering the most expensive African cities to live in, it will interest you to know that Luanda, the capital city of Angola used to be the world’s most expensive city.

Mercer Consulting firm is a leading global human resources consultancy firm and each year it compiles the list of the most expensive cities to live in the world. Each year, the firm carries out surveys in 209 cities of the world and ranks them. The firm is based in New York city so it uses New York as the base city of its research. The cost of living in other cities is then measured and ranked against that of New York. Some of the major factors considered in formulating this list include the cost of accommodation, feeding, groceries, transportation cost, and services.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities In Africa 2020 

  • 1. N’Djamena, Chad Republic

The second most expensive African city to live in, is the capital of Chad Republic, N’Djamena. It is the largest city in the Republic of Chad. The city is ranked as the most expensive city in Africa to live in. The city is directly faced by the Cameroonian town of Kousséri, to which it is connected by a bridge. The city of N’Djamena is a regional market for trades in livestock, salt, dates, and grains. The major industries in the city include Meat, fish, and cotton processing. The city remains the economic center of the Republic of Chad. 

  • 2. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of Congo

Kinshasa the capital of DRC Congo was formerly called Léopoldville. It is the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is situated alongside the Congo River. Kinshasa is a megacity with an estimated population of more than 11 million inhabitants.

The city of Kinshasa faces Brazzaville, the capital of the nearby Republic of the Congo, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River. This makes the two capitals the world’s second-closest pair of capital cities after Rome and Vatican City. It is therefore not a surprise that both capital cities feature on this list. Kinshasa is ranked second among the most expensive cities in Africa to live in.

  • 3. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, the economic capital of the West African powerhouse Nigeria is the 3rd most expensive city to live in Africa. This beautiful coastal city is one of the most populous in Africa and houses some of the richest individuals on the African continent. It has one of the busiest ports in Africa also. The city is ranked the 25th most expensive city to live globally.

  • 4. Luanda, Angola

The Angolan capital and the largest city in the country is among the most expensive cities in Africa live in on the continent. It was for some time the most expensive city in the world but recent rankings have placed the city at number 6 in the world now behind cities on the Asian continent. It is quite surprising that living in the capital city of the 2nd largest crude oil producer in Africa can be this expensive.

A few years back, Luanda, is believed to be far more expensive to live in than some of the finest cities in the world such as London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. The city through one of the richest on the African continent can be a tough nut to crack for an individual on a low income. 

  • 5. Libreville, Gabon

Coming in fifth place is the beautiful and vibrant capital city of Gabon, Libreville. This West African city is ranked the fifth most expensive city in Africa to live in. It is the capital and largest city of Gabon, in western central Africa. The population of this city is made up of mostly youths. It is a port city on the Komo River close to the Gulf of Guinea and it is a trade center for a timber region.

  • 6. Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire

Abidjan is the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire. This beautiful city is one of the most populous French-speaking cities in Africa. The population of the city is put at 20% of the overall population and is the fourth most populous city in Africa. The high level of industrialization and urbanization are among what characterized the city. The city is ranked 6th in Africa and 24th globally in terms of the cost of living.

  • 7. Brazzaville, Republic Of Congo

Brazzaville is the capital and largest city of the French-speaking Republic of the Congo. It is on the north side of the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa. The city is the 4th on the continent and is ranked 19th globally just behind Gabon. The city has a population put to be over 1.8 million and as high as 1/3 of the population of the Republic of Congo live there. It is the economic center of the country and is home to 40% of non-agricultural employment in the country.

  • 8. Victoria, Seychelles

The capital city of the small African country, Seychelles is ranked 8th on the African continent. The city is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island, the archipelago’s main island. It was first established as the seat of the British colonial government. The majority of the population of Seychelles live in the region of Greater Victoria.

  • 9. Yaounde, Cameroon

Yaounde is the capital and the second-largest city in the central African country, Cameroon. The population of this city is put at approximately 2.5 million. The port city of Douala is the only city larger than Yaoundé. The city lies in a central position in the country and the elevation is put at about 750 meters above sea level. The city is of economic importance to the country. It is ranked as the 9th on the list.

  • 10. Bangui, Central African Republic

Rounding up our top ten most expensive cities in Africa is the Central African City of Bangui. Bangui is the capital and the largest city in the Central African Republic. Its population is put at under a million. The city was established as a French outpost in the year 1889 and was named after its location on the northern bank of the Ubangi River. The vast majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of this country, in Bangui and the surrounding area. The city is ranked 10th on the list.



Despite the deep poverty plaguing most African countries, it is quite unfortunate that living in some of the best African cities can be quite expensive. This furthermore compounds the already difficult situation that Africans currently live in. It is worthy to mention that while some cities have dropped in the ranking, such as Luanda moving from 1st globally to 6th, others have moved further up which is quite not good enough. It is expected that the administrative heads of these cities will put in more work so as to ensure that life becomes easier for residents.

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