Three African cities are among the world’s 20 most expensive places for expatriates to live in, a study shows.
According to the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2012 conducted by human resource consulting firm Mercer Group, Luanda, last year's global "winner" is the most expensive city in the continent and second in the world after Tokyo.
The survey, which gathers information used by governments and major companies to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad, lists Djamena, Chad as the second and Libreville, Congo, as the third most expensive African cities.
Tunis at position 209 of the 214 cities covered by the study across five continents is the least expensive African city for expatriates.
"It might be surprising to see 20 African cities in the top third of the ranking. The main driver behind this is the difficulty in finding good secure accommodation for expatriates. So the limited supply of acceptable accommodation is very expensive,” said Ms Constantin-Métral, the group’s spokesperson.
According to her, the cost of imported international goods is also very high in these cities, considerably contributing to the high cost of living.
The fourth most expensive city is Khartoum up 18 places from last year and ranked 26 on the global list. Ndjamena, Chad (8), follows, dropping five places since 2011.
Dropping eight places, Libreville, Gabon (20), is the next followed by Niamey, Niger.
On the list after Niamey are Lagos in Nigeria, Bamako, Mali, Abidjan,Cote Devoir, Brazzaville, Congo, Djibouti, Djibouti and Dakar, Senegal.
The survey which does not have any city on its top 50 from East Africa ranked Johannesburg 154th globally and Cape Town 179 having fallen 23 and 21 places respectively from last year.
“The fall to the two South African cities is a reflection of the considerable weakening of the South African rand against the US dollar in the last year,” reads the study.
Tokyo is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, pushing Luanda, Angola, down to second position from the 2011 rankings.
Osaka is in third position, up three places from last year, whereas Moscow remains in fourth and Geneva in fifth positions.
Singapore and Zurich share sixth place, up two and one places respectively since 2011.
The study says recent world events, including economic and political upheavals have affected the rankings for many regions through currency fluctuations, inflation, and volatility in accommodation prices.