Africa for many centuries was call the Dark Continent. Countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain and Portugal vied for control of the continent. Ships and their captains laud claim to ports along both the west and south coasts of the continent.
After swapping ownership of ports that ranged from Mozambique to the Cape of Good Hope and Islands from Madagascar to Mauritius these colonial powers eventually ceded control to native governments, and by the late 70’s the wealth of Africa was opened to free trade.
Of course many expats are now attracted to the opportunities presented by countries across the African continent – but why should those used to the comforts of the west leave their homes and put up with the costs of living in Africa?
Certain countries in Africa boast some of the highest costs of living in the world – Nigeria, with its massive oil wealth is only one of those. Living in cities like Lagos is extremely expensive – but compared to living in New York it;s still pretty good value for money. Live in an apartment in Lagos and you’ll still be paying over 30% less than you would be for an apartment in New York City.
However, the costs of living in Africa when it comes to countries like Angola which is literally awash with oil money can make even the most entrepreneurial minded westerner take a step back. Want to live in Luanda, Angola and enjoy the fruits of a growing oil based economy? Guess what – as an expat you are going to be paying for the highest cost of living in the world.
Why one might ask? What on Earth would make a one bedroom apartment cost $4000 per month – more expensive than Manhattan?
The simple fact of the matter is that every single thing that comes into the African city is imported. If you go out for a pizza you need to know that each and every component that gores into making that pie is probably flown in – and that makes not only your pizza, but your beer that accompanies it incredible expensive.
So why would you want o live in that city for any amount of time? The answer is as simple as the pizza that you paid for – money. For those who are willing to put up with the cost of living savings can amount to thousands of dollars a month, if your willing to forego the odd pizza.
Of course you could choose to work in South Africa where your pizza probably comes from. In that country you might be on the very edge of Africa – but the cost of living is considerably lower and you’ll have access to the best banking and transport infrastructure on the African continent. You’ll probably not make as many dollars – but you’ll take home a lot more. The choice is after all up to you.