Kenya’s capital Nairobi has been ranked the best city to work in Africa due to ease of settling and finding a house, beating key cities like Cape Town, Cairo and Johannesburg. This ranking by expatriates has lifted Nairobi, seen by many natives as a den of struggle with a high cost of living, 50 places from last year.
The Expat City Ranking 2021 shows Nairobi came 12th out of 57 cities surveyed in the world, an improvement from 62 out of 66 in 2020. South Africa’s Cape Town was ranked 41, Johannesburg 55, while Egypt’s Cairo came 52.
The ranking surveyed 12,420 respondents in 57 cities. InterNations, the largest community of expatriates, has more than four million members in 420 cities.
The survey by InterNations shows the expatriates picked the city due to ease in getting settled at fourth position globally, after Malaga, Mexico City and Kuala Lumpur based on friendliness of locals, feeling welcomed and local language.
The city was also ranked sixth globally in the finance and housing index based on overall satisfaction with their financial situation, disposable income and affordability and ease of finding houses.
“All three African cities featured rank among the bottom 10 in the quality of urban living and urban work life indices — except for Nairobi, which lands in 34th place in the latter index. Nairobi also outperforms the other cities when it comes to the ease of getting settled, as well as finances and housing,” the survey stated.
The latest survey analysed five areas of expatriate life — quality of urban towns, getting settled, work-life balance, finance, housing and cost of living, to reveal the likely city of choice for expats to move to in 2022.
In a similar survey in November last year Nairobi was faulted for the quality of the city and poor public transportation infrastructure despite attractive local climate and weather.
The Expat City Ranking 2021 says that four in five expats in Nairobi representing 78 percent said the local residents were friendly compared to 69 percent globally. About 62 percent find it easy to make new friends against 48 percent globally.
“Expats in Nairobi agree. 74 percent are happy with their social life, 17 percentage points more than the global average 57 percent,” it added.
About 82 percent of the expats have no trouble finding houses compared to 60 percent globally. Close to half the respondents representing 49 percent find housing affordable compared to 42 percent globally.