Nairobi most expensive city in Africa

Reasons include rising cost of living and new taxes


Nairobi is Africa’s most expensive city according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 survey by the London-based EIU sampled eight cities in Africa and puts Nairobi ahead of Côte d’Ivoire’s Abidjan.

The report cites the steep rise in the cost of living in Nairobi over the past 12 months, thanks mainly to Kenya's introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) six months ago.

The VAT Act in Kenya put a 16 per cent sales tax on essential commodities such as utilities, rent, fuel and food, including milk, maize and bread. Analysts say the cost living is also increasing thanks to a growing middle class and a steady exchange rate.

However critics in Nairobi point out that the EIU worldwide survey did not include the Angolan capital Luanda, which the EIU and other bodies previously identified as Africa’s most expensive city.

The EIU survey identifies Casablanca in Morocco as Africa’s third most expensive city, followed by Lusaka in Zambia, Cairo in Egypt, Lagos in Nigeria, Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa, and Algiers in Algeria.

The EIU ranked Singapore as the most expensive city in the world and Mumbai as the cheapest.