09-07-2021 by redazione
Nairobi's reputation, in the last twenty years when its expansion from a simple capital to a "hub" of all Sub-Saharan Africa where interests and activities of all kinds converge, is that of a very expensive metropolis for those foreigners who intend to live there or spend more than just a holiday or a short period of work.
After this year and a half of pandemic, things seem to have definitely changed, for the better. So much so that the listed asset management company Mercier, which every year draws up a credible ranking of the most expensive cities in the world, has lowered Nairobi's ranking by a good fifty positions, which represents the most significant jump for a capital city.
Nairobi is now "only" in 145th place, dropping out of the top 100 expensive metropolises, where it was confined until 2020, with its 95th position.
To compile this ranking, Mercier based his analysis on expatriate life, taking into account not only rents and basic necessities, but also more than 200 leisure activities and services. These are the main items that are compared from city to city, based on the experience of 400 residents from different social groups.
On the basis of these parameters, Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat has overtaken one of the historic destinations for big spenders, Hong Kong, which remains in second place.
First African city, and here too few could imagine it, is Ndjamena in Chad.
Lower than Nairobi, in 167th and 171st place respectively, are two other major East African cities, Tanzania's Dar Es Salaam and Uganda's Kampala.
But what has contributed to Nairobi's decline to more "human" levels?
According to Mercier's experts, it is above all the drop in the cost of rents, due not only to the pandemic that has seen many expats return to their countries of origin and a drop in requests from cooperators, diplomats and executives of companies or the United Nations, but also competition from new buildings, residences and condominiums.
Another factor is the arrival and explosion of uber as a transport service, which has significantly lowered the cost of travel in one of the continent's busiest cities. Thirdly, home deliveries have reduced not only transport costs, but also the cost of lunches and dinners, taking away the cover charge and often the drink. And even supermarkets and small businesses have taken up delivery. The same goes for smart working, because moving around the city is certainly one of the sensitive expenses.
The cuts in spending are also evident in those categories of residents who have seen their earnings fall and, with their pockets empty, have experimented with more modest but not depressing lifestyles. In fact, the capital offers decent opportunities to get by and make ends meet, and this is a fact that improves its overall ranking and consequently the life of those who visit it as foreigners.
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