East Africa: Nairobi the Most Expensive City in the Region

An aerial view of a section of Nairobi's skyline.

Nairobi is the most expensive city to reside in East Africa and the 16th in Africa, a study by Mercer 2020 Cost of Living survey indicates.

According to the research firm, Kampala ranks as the least expensive city to live in East Africa followed by Kigali.


Out of the 40 countries sampled in Africa, Kampala is ranked 30th, Kigali 29th, and Dar es Salaam 26th in terms of cost of living.

The annual Mercer survey ranks cities' cost of living based on the prices of goods and services such as food, clothing, and rent.

It is mainly used by multinational organizations to set remuneration packages for their foreign-based employees.

"The Covid-19 pandemic reminds us that sending and keeping employees on international assignments is a huge responsibility and a difficult task to manage," said Ilya Bonic,the head of Mercer Strategy.


According to the survey, Victoria in Seychelles is the most expensive city to live in Africa.

N'Djamena in Chad, Lagos in Nigeria, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libreville in Gabon are ranked second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively.

Meanwhile, Tunis is Tunisia is the least expensive city to live in on the continent followed by Windhoek in Namibia, Banjul in the Gambia, Lusaka in Zambia, and Gaborone in Botswana.

On the international front, Hong Kong ranks as the most expensive city for expatriates, followed by Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. Tokyo and Zurich are third and fourth respectively while Singapore city is fifth,

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